Story by Kevin Robinson on 05/14/2015FORT LEE, Va. Sixteen more stores will offer Wi-Fi access for commissary patrons between June and September as the Defense Commissary Agency announces its follow-up schedule.
Through the Commissary Patron Internet Mobile System, DeCA is gradually opening customer Wi-Fi access at all stateside commissaries to include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The latest schedule covers the deployment of in-store Wi-Fi to 16 stores in nine states beginning June 22 at Fort Rucker and Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, and Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport in Florida.
The deployment schedule for the remaining 60 stateside stores will begin the first quarter of fiscal 2016. DeCA is also looking to eventually expand access to its 62 stores overseas, said Duane Woodfin, an information technology specialist and wireless expert at DeCA headquarters.
"We don't have a schedule yet for our commissaries in Europe or the Pacific," Woodfin said. "However, those stores are on our radar and, tentatively, we hope to have them online by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016."
Through May 13, patron Wi-Fi has been deployed to 103 stores in Virginia, Puerto Rico, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Arizona, Texas, Alaska, California and Nevada.
In-store Wi-Fi allows patrons to use their smartphones and tablets to access the Internet and websites, such as www.commissaries.com, where they can download digital coupons for the Commissary Rewards Card, read sales information from the DeCA sales flyer, and obtain information from the "Savings Aisle" for access to promotional prices.
Here are some things to know about access to a commissary's Wi-Fi connection:
Anyone can access the store's Wi-Fi from the sales floor area
Users must accept DeCA's "terms of service" agreement
Some websites are blocked
Patrons with questions about access should contact the store's customer service representative
With this announcement DeCA begins the second phase of its in-store Wi-Fi deployment, which coincides with the agency's regularly scheduled technical refresh of commissaries that don't have the system requirements to support Wi-Fi access. The previous schedule involved stores whose systems had already been upgraded.
Following is DeCA's Wi-Fi deployment schedule for the next 16 stores between June 22 and Sept. 7:
Alabama, June 22 Fort Rucker; Aug. 17 Maxwell Air Force Base
Florida, June 22 Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport
Oklahoma, July 6 Altus Air Force Base and Fort Sill
Texas, July 6 Sheppard Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth
Colorado, July 27 U.S. Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base
Mississippi, Aug. 17 Naval Air Station Meridian and Columbus Air Force Base
New York, Sept. 7 Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs and Fort Drum
Massachusetts, Sept. 7 Hanscom Air Force Base
New Hampshire, Sept. 7 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
To see a list of the stores that have in-store Wi-Fi access, go to http://www.commissaries.com/press_room/press_release/2015/DeCA_22_15.cfm.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save an average of 30 percent or more on their purchases compared to commercial prices savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.