10/4/04. 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference. 2. Topics of Discussion. What is Wireless Internet?Why Have Wireless Internet at Safety Rest Areas?TxDOT's First HotspotsPublic and Vendor InterestConcerns About Wi-Fi Service in Safety Rest Areas Request for OfferPurchase Order Overvie
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1. Wireless Internet at Texas Safety Rest Areas Byron Hicks, P.E.
Safety Rest Area Project Manager
Texas Department of Transportation
2. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 2 Topics of Discussion What is Wireless Internet?
Why Have Wireless Internet at Safety Rest Areas?
TxDOT’s First Hotspots
Public and Vendor Interest
Concerns About Wi-Fi Service in Safety Rest Areas
Request for Offer
Purchase Order Overview
3. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 3 What is Wireless Internet? A radio frequency based service that provides access to Internet e-mail and the World Wide Web.
Access points and antennae distribute the Internet signal across a specific radius.
Signals are received by hardware installed in laptop computers.
4. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 4 Why Have Wireless Internet at Safety Rest Areas? Improved highway safety by offering an incentive for fatigued drivers to take a break, thereby reducing fatigue-related crashes
Travelers are becoming accustomed to, and even demanding, internet access whenever and wherever they stop
Since September 11, 2001, there have been an increased amount of business travelers driving our highways, increasing the demand for internet hotspots
5. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 5 TxDOT’s First Hotspots
6. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 6 TxDOT’s First Hotspots Donley County and Hardeman County Safety Rest Areas became “hotspots” in October 2003
Medina County and Colorado County Safety Rest Areas became “hotspots” in July 2004
Resulted from interactive exhibit installations at new Safety Rest Areas
TxDOT paid for the real time displays. The cost to add a wireless hotspot was minimal
7. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 7 Public Response
8. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 8 Public Response “Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your wireless hotspot on hwy 287.”
- Linda Sunkle Pierucki
9. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 9 Public & Vendor Interest Around December 2003, TxDOT began receiving solicitations from Wi-Fi vendors to install wireless Internet access at Safety Rest Areas:
Pilot projects for just a few rest areas
Kiosk installations only in lobbied facilities
These solicitations, along with general interest from the public, prompted TxDOT Rest Area Program to write a specification for a request for offers.
10. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 10 Concerns about Wi-Fi Service in Safety Rest Areas Advertising
Code of Federal Regulations, Section 752.7(c) - “Where the information center or system includes an enclosed building, the identification of the operator and all advertising must be restricted to the interior of the building…none of the advertising…shall be legible from the main traveled way.”
Relates to providing opportunities to blind organizations for vending in government facilities.
TxDOT sees the provision of wireless internet as a means of one or two-way communication, not unlike telecommunications (or pay telephone)
11. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 11 Concerns about Wi-Fi Service in Safety Rest Areas Fees
Code of Federal Regulations, Section 752.5(g) - “No charge to the public may be made for goods and services at safety rest areas except for telephone and articles dispensed by vending machines.”
12. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 12 TxDOT’s Request for Offer TxDOT Rest Area Team developed a Request for Offer:
Open description of basic needs
Provide wireless internet connectivity for entire site
Provide a kiosk for travelers without a laptop computer
Four static internet protocol addresses for TxDOT use
No cost to State
No State maintenance
Left room for innovation from vendors
TxDOT issued a press release to increase vendor and public interest. Received a large amount of media attention.
TxDOT Received five offers from wireless internet vendors
TxDOT evaluation team selected three vendors for interviews
13. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 13 Purchase Order Issued September 28, 2004 Coach Connect Corp. is a traveler services and Internet connectivity company providing professional grade high speed wireless Internet access to the recreational vehicle industry.
14. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 14 Purchase Order Details Over 50 million people use Texas safety rest areas annually. Details of this purchase order were negotiated based on traffic volumes and projected usage.
Coach Connect will provide wireless internet connectivity to travelers along Texas highways at no cost to the state, as part of an innovative Texas Department of Transportation program aimed at decreasing driver fatigue by encouraging travelers to make more frequent stops at Texas rest areas.
Each of Texas’ 102 safety rest areas and Travel Information Centers should have wireless internet access in less than one year.
The traveling public with a wireless equipped computing device will have immediate and free access to local, safety, weather and travel information.
Travelers will receive two free hours of wireless (wi-fi) access to the World Wide Web. Additional wi-fi access will be available by subscription.
15. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 15 Purchase Order Details Subscription rates for internet use after the two hour “sample” period will be $1.99/20 minutes, $3.99/day, $7.99/week or $29.99/month.
All equipment, maintenance and technical support will be provided by Coach Connect.
25% of profit for TxDOT originated Coach Connect subscriptions goes to TxDOT.
Coach Connect will install and maintain internet kiosks in TxDOT lobbied facilities for those users not possessing a wireless computing device.
Coach Connect hopes to also support this network of hotspots with the help of sponsors.
16. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 16 Purchase Order Details Road Connect, a Coach Connect brand was created to designate the wireless internet service provided at Texas Safety Rest Areas and Travel Information Centers.
Coach Connect has proposed a Road Connect Radio system for possible implementation in 2005. This would be an internet distributed message loop broadcast by radio signal from our facilities. Messages may contain community, TxDOT including Amber Alerts and advertising information.
17. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 17 Where Do We Go From Here? TxDOT will issue a press release in October relating to the selection of Coach Connect and its implementation plans.
Purchase order has the flexibility to compensate Coach Connect in the event of expansion of services.
Determine uses for the four additional static internet protocol addresses:
Truck Permitting by Department of Motor Vehicles
Security Camera Access
18. 10/4/04 2004 National Safety Rest Area Conference 18 Contact Information