The family vacation update: free Wi-Fi along the road

The family vacation update: free Wi-Fi along the road


No need to wait for that coffee shop in the next town. You can just park at a highway rest stop and fire up the Wi-Fi.

That’s the idea behind a plan to establish Wi-Fi hotspots at up to 60 rest stops welcome centers, and turnpike plazas throughout Florida, along Interstate-95 and elsewhere. The state won’t have to pay anything, and neither will you.

You see, the provider, Coach Connect, will do all the building and the providing; in return, the company gets to put up 40-inch plasma screens showing travel and safety information and, of course, advertising.

Your free use ends at 30 minutes, which is much more time than you’d typically spend at a rest stop anyway. You can check your email, your hotel reservations, current traffic conditions, and much more. A built-in firewall will preclude you from checking illegal sites, however.

Similar systems are in use in Oregon and Washington and at RV parks across the country.