Wi-Fi service at more than 500
truck stops across the United States served by Truckstop.net has been halted,
the company announced Nov. 30.
The locations include all the
Petro locations that carried the service.
The outage began when
Truckstop.net sued Overland Park, KS-based Sprint, which installed and
configured the service’s equipment. A statement from Truckstop.net said the
company filed suit Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court in Idaho, claiming that its
customers were suffering service outages caused by Sprint equipment. The
problems reportedly affected “thousands” of customers who used the wireless
Debra Peterson, communications manager at Sprint’s Overland
Park, KS, headquarters, said that when the suit was filed Nov. 15, the judge
required Truckstop.net to post a $67,500 bond and ordered Sprint to continue
During a second hearing Nov. 19, the judge increased the
size of the bond. Truckstop.net did not post the amount by Nov. 22 as required,
effectively ending the injunction, so Sprint cut off service Nov. 23, she said.
According to the news release from
Truckstop.net, the Internet service provider had worked with Sprint for five
months to find the source of the problem, but that the telecommunications
company had not corrected them.
However, Peterson said her company conducted tests but was
not able to replicate the problems described by Truckstop.net officials.
“We believe the services performed to the contractual
agreement,” Peterson said.
“I just believe that we’ve met the
requirements of our agreement with Truckstop.net to provide equipment and
services, and we should be paid for what is due to us. I think that’s our
Some truck stops have kept the
Wi-Fi service active by hooking up the equipment to another Internet circuit. A
TruckStop.net official said his company would offer that alternative service at
no charge while the company works to fix the original problem.
“We regret the inconvenience this
causes to our customers and problems for our partner locations,” Allan Meiusi,
COO of Truckstop.net, said in a statement. “Many of our customers have been
very understanding throughout this last week offering pictures of sites with
installation issues and reporting outages at sites, and we thank them for being
our eyes in the field.”
Peterson said that she did not
know whether her company would offer individual truckers an alternative form of
wireless access. Two trucking companies that were affected have contacted
Sprint, and will be provided service at their facilities T1 lines. The company
also offers its PCS Connection Card wireless access service, which Peterson
said is faster than some dialup services.
Truckstop.net is providing a list
of the hot spots that are still operating on its Web site, www.truckstop.net. Most of the locations
are outlets of Love’s, Pilot or Rip Griffin. Truckstop.net also has a section
of the site that describes how to receive a refund for service.
Other companies that offer
Truckstop.net Wi-Fi service include AmBest, Sapp Brothers, PTP Stop and the
Iowa 80 group.
– By Mark H. Reddig, associate