Wi-Fi Truckstops -- Not Just for Chat and Porn
By Mark Frauenfelder, Fri May 07 00:15:00 GMT 2004
Truckstops are offering more than hot coffee and commercial company these days -- they're buzzing with Wi-Fi, something proving as effective at pulling in gear-jammers as the $3.99 steak and eggs special.
Some truckers will drive up to 30 extra miles in order to use a Wi-Fi hotpot, typically paying $200 to $250 a year for unlimited access. The AP article makes a big deal about the way truckers use Wi-Fi to "kill time" chatting with buddies, but I don't know of any trucker who likes to kill time. They want to get their load delivered as quickly as possible. I took a look at the number one truckstop WI-Fi service, truckstop.net, and found out that truckers can use Wi-FI to make "short work of sending authority, insurance and W9 paperwork to shippers." Sounds like Wi-Fi has a bona-fide use for truckers. Here's the national hotspot map for truckstop.net.
If you ask me, truck stops should give away access. I imagine they'd make a lot of money selling coffee, grub and diesel to the truckers coming in for free bandwidth.
Most interestingly, the article mentions a trucker named Tom Wiles, who uses Wi-Fi to upload digital pictures to his Web site, which he sells online for a quarter. Check out Wile's portrait of "Tattoo Tom's Back and Arms."