The commissary at Naval Air Station Oceana here in Virginia Beach has just become the first commissary to test free Wi-Fi. I was very excited to hear that it was one of the commissaries near me so that I could drive over and test it.
I often forget to load my commissary rewards card and end up sitting in my car scanning through them on my phone quickly as my 19-month-old baby repeatedly chimes from the back seat, “I go bye-bye. Groceries now, groceries now mama.” Finally being able to access the Internet inside of the commissary is great. I know my son does not want to sit still any longer than he has to and now I won’t have to keep him in the car that extra time. Of course I always tell myself I will remember next time to look at the coupons at home, but as all parents know, that doesn’t always happen.
I will make a better effort to digitally clip my rewards card coupons at home, but it is nice to be able to access them while in the commissary if I do forget. Some of the recipes I use are online so being able to glance back at them and make sure everything is on my grocery list is another great perk. I’m sure there are many reasons that people will happily find to utilize the free Wi-Fi. Entertaining your child with cartoons on YouTube so everyone can shop in peace is what one of my friends beamed about.
Having access to Wi-Fi is so mainstream now that not having it comes as a surprise to many new patrons, especially young military spouses. For those of us that have been shopping at commissaries for years without it however, this is an exciting new feature. NAS Oceana is the first to test free Wi-Fi, but once preliminary test is complete it will be rolled out to 102 commissaries stateside that already have the existing infrastructure that would be needed to support customer traffic.
A specific timeline for the program has not been determined yet. Once DeCA is able to calculate the test results here at Oceana, they will decide how quickly they can roll out free Wi-Fi to other commissaries. For those locations that will need updates to their systems to support customer Wi-Fi, it may be awhile. At this time DeCA has not made any plans to expand the offer of free Wi-Fi to commissaries overseas unfortunately.