Camp Pendleton / News Stories

I MHG barracks get connected

Base officials and civilian contractors cut the ribbon to introduce the free barracks Wi-Fi Internet during a ribbon cutting ceremony at building 2160 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 4. The new service, called Tornado, allows Marines to stay connected without modems or required contracts. The free basic connection speed runs at approximately 128 kilobits per second, and Marines can pay to upgrade to speeds of up to approximately 30 megabits per second. Pictured from left to right are David Busby, Marine Corps Community Services business manager; Tim Route, president of Endeka; Lane H. Jones, MCCS deputy assistance chief of staff; Maj. Michael Haley, 20 and 21 Area deputy director; and Army 1st Lt. Thomas Hernandez, assistant public works officer.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines at Camp Pendleton found a way to mobilize wireless connectivity and save money on Internet, gaming and live television streaming in the barracks.

Marine Corps Community Services, base officials and civilian contractors introduced new barracks Wi-Fi to Marines of I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group during a ribbon cutting ceremony at building 2160 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 4.

“From an MCCS perspective, we always wonder, ‘How do we get these Marines out of the barracks? How do we get them to our facilities? How do we take care of them and enhance their quality of life?’” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Anthony Cisneros, MCCS officer.
“It’s really tip of the spear for the Marine Corps because this is one of the first Marine Corps installations to establish this type of program.”

Upon completion of successful beta testing, a new service called Tornado allows Marines and sailors who reside in the barracks to connect their wireless television sets, video game consoles, tablets and mobile devices to Wi-Fi Internet and stay connected as they roam throughout the barracks. Marines can subscribe to speeds up to approximately 30 megabits per second to stream Internet, games, and live content from a variety of major television networks via application available for download through the service.

Currently, Marines and sailors have access to free Wi-Fi with an Internet speed of up to 128 megabits per second and a choice between speeds of five and 30 megabits per second with hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Television streaming and Internet/television bundles are slated to be available soon.

The entire barracks will essentially become a Wi-Fi zone, as opposed to a Wi-Fi hotspot Marines and sailors experience at the Single Marines Program, said Hans Petersen, CEO of wireless services provider Endeka Group, Inc. “The Internet travels with you, so that’s what is different from traditional cable.”

Compared to a local cable company, which offers a basic plan of three-megabits per second download speed and 768 kilobits per second upload speed for $38.99 per month, Tornado offers a five-megabit per second download and two-megabit per second upload speed for $29.95 monthly or $79.95 for a three-month subscription.

“It really is something that nobody in the world has right now,” said Tim Route, president and founder of Endeka Group, Inc. “You cannot go anywhere in the world right now and get these speeds of bandwidth over Wi-Fi or this selection of services with television over Wi-Fi on any device.”

Additional services include premium channel packages as well as scheduled digital video recording built into the application.
There are no annual contracts for Marines and sailors to worry about in case they deploy. The service is slated to implement social media functions to allow Marines and sailors to interact online.

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