Vermont company brings free WiFi to rest stops
Mobile-app developer Route 802 has entered into two key contracts to keep free WiFi at the state's Welcome Centers and at Burlington International Airport through 2013. This relieves the state of the funding burden of the popular free WiFi at these key tourist hot spots. The state is exchanging advertising space at the Welcome Centers for the WiFi. This partnership allows local businesses direct access to tourists via Route 802’s mobile app, See Vermont.
Route 802 is a technology company founded by Al Levy, who has been CEO of Summit Techonologies in Williston since 2001 and has been involved in the field of technology for 27 years. Route 802 will sponsor the free Wi-Fi provided by Summit Technologies in exchange for advertising space at the Welcome Centers and at the airport, which Route 802 will use to promote their mobile app See Vermont. “Route 802 is a unique and sustainable statewide digital media platform—the first in Vermont—that will engage and connect communities,” says Levy, a born-and-bred Vermonter. “I look at Route 802 as a tool for economic development for Vermont, which is frankly, behind the mobility curve. I think that local businesses stand to benefit immensely from easy, and affordable, access to a mobile platform.”
“When we began offering free Wi-Fi in our Welcome Centers about four years ago, we knew it would put a significant burden on our budget,” says Ed Vonturkovich, Director of the State’s Information Center Division. And it did. “Vermont is a state with quite a few gaps in its Internet coverage, and we knew that free Wi-Fi would be popular. On any given day, we see people going to the Welcome Centers and setting up shop to use the Wi-Fi for a few hours. We could not be happier about Route 802’s sponsorship of the Wi-Fi, which reduces the cost to taxpayers and provides a free, valuable service to travelers. “
Gene Richards, the newly-appointed Interim Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport echoes Vonturkovich’s sentiment: “We want to make Burlington a preferred destination for travelers. Along these lines, we want to make Internet accessibility at the Airport easy and free. This is why we are working with Route 802, who is helping us maintain the free Wi-Fi as a complementary guest amenity.“
Route 802 will roll out 23 community apps—usable on most mobile devices—that covers the entire state of Vermont. The roll out began in Manchester in January, with Stowe launching in March. Middlebury/Addison County and Mount Snow are the next deployment, with the remaining apps launching by August 31st. Each app will include a collection of mobile-optimized, rich sites organized by category of business—restaurants, shopping, lodging, dining and nightlife, arts and culture, attractions, and services—built by Route 802 and provided to businesses for roughly one dollar a day. Tourists can search the apps for free to find business information such as hours of operation, contact information, menus, photographs, and links to Google maps within each locale. They can also create an itinerary of destinations within each community. Upcoming added features include instant 511 travel advisories, Amber alerts, news, event streams, and mobile coupons.
The benefit for local businesses is clear: Any business that signs up will be participating in a collaborative marketing platform unlike any other with access to the combined 5.6 million travelers that pass through the Welcome Centers and the airport annually via Route 802’s ads and complemented by partnerships with non-competing publishers across the state, including Seven Days, The Addison Independent and the Stowe Reporter. “We will rely on our select network of local publishers, who will feed Route 802 with constantly-updated content,” says Levy. “This keeps our apps fresh and engaging and creates a new media outlet for the publishers. It is a win-win-win all around.”
Source: Route 802
Route 802, LLC is a digital media company with a mission to deliver Vermont’s premier mobile marketing platform. Its growing network of mobile-optimized applications provides user-friendly, location-based resources that engage and connect communities with relevant local content and next generation marketing tools. Through versatile, scalable and customizable products, Route 802 is charting the digital future of Vermont – and beyond. Learn more at www.route802.biz .