By Bethany Yost, USAG Bamberg Public AffairsJuly 23, 2009
BAMBERG, Germany -- Soldiers throughout the world are beginning to enjoy a new wireless Internet service, and Soldiers at U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg will be no exception.
Through the Army Recreation Machine Program, the Family Morale and Welfare Recreation Command is providing Soldiers with a unique Wi-Fi service.
The project has been developing stateside for almost two years, but it's only just branched out to overseas installations.
"It's been close to a year since we started," said Juergen Hageman, the garrison Business Recreation Division Chief.
Brett Holden, a Schweinfurt office technician, recently met with German contractors and is eager to begin installing the Wi-Fi system.
"It's still in the bidding process," he said, but once the bidding is complete the process of installing the Wi-Fi should begin by August.
The project, which began at Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in 2007, was designed to give Soldiers an Internet service that was not only affordable, but flexible. The provider gives customers a chance to subscribe by the hour, week, or month, allowing Soldiers to work around training or deployments.
This system allows Soldiers to stop paying at any time, said Holden.
"You don't even need an ID card," said Holden, "You just need a credit card."
For those who are changing duty stations they need not worry about setting up a new account. Once an account is made, it can be used at any facility worldwide, as long as they have this wireless infrastructure.
This wireless network is not only giving Soldiers Internet access, but it's giving them better quality. Holden said, "Our system provides faster connection speeds and a high bandwidth." Plus it offers weekly maintenance.
On Warner Barracks, the contractors are focusing on empty barracks; their goal is to have them prepared for redeploying Soldiers. After all the barracks are completed, recreation centers will be next in line to get connected. The Birchview Lanes Bowling Center is already enjoying this service, but the Community Activity Center, Moonlight Cabin, and Freedom Fitness Center will soon follow.
The Library is also scheduled to receive this Wi-Fi service from Aptilo Networks, but no account will be needed for access at this location.
The Community Activity Center already provides free Wi-Fi paid for by MWR.