Either I or Matt have mentioned problems in the past with getting online while on the road, not having much in the way of good WIFI from which to choose. The few good choices remain the same...but they'll be a little more lonely. For the worst of them has declared bankruptcy!!!
They are/were the biggest truck stop WIFI outfit in the country, and the most expensive. But they were also the most unreliable and pathetic bunch of hacks in the industry. I am speaking of Siricomm, which, until recently, could be found at nearly every Pilot, Petro, or Loves truck stop in the country. As of 12-29-07 they are history, along with hundreds of employees, most of whom had not been paid in nearly a month.
So what happened? Well, like Boston Market...a good idea at first, they pitched their tents in too many places and let quality go by the wayside. Siricomm could be found in more than three times the truck stops as the nearest competitor, but had all kinds of technical issues, not the least of which was poor reception on mildly cloudy days. The problem was that everything was done via satellite. Some WIFI providers use cell towers, others use underground cables to connect the truck stops with the host provider before beaming the signals to individual customers (most of whom sat in their trucks in truck stop parking lots). Siricomm beamed from their base in Joplin to satellites, and from satellites to truck stops, who beamed to customers. Along the way any storm, or approaching storm, or clouds, or approaching clouds, or pooping seagulls, or lost parakeets flying by would interrupt the signal causing the trucker much anguish.
The other problem was the cost. Siricomm was charging $189.00 for a year's worth of WIFI when other companies were charging $120.00 to $150.00 with far better service and 54 Mbps (vs. Siricomm's mere 11 Mbps). The only question I have at this point is this: How did they last this long???
My thanks to Matt for doing the typing and most of the research on this while I ate my ProPlan Hairball treatment cereal. Yum-yum.