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John Hall, a DC-8 flight crewmember and retired Air Force master sergeant, goes online while relaxing Saturday in the Kanto Lodge’s main lobby at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Wireless Internet access became available last week, and there are plans to expand the service to all rooms in the lodge.

John Hall, a DC-8 flight crewmember and retired Air Force master sergeant, goes online while relaxing Saturday in the Kanto Lodge’s main lobby at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Wireless Internet access became available last week, and there are plans to expand the service to all rooms in the lodge. (Vince Little / S&S)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Kanto Lodge guests now can catch up on e-mail or surf the Web throughout the main lobby without having to wait for a terminal to open up in the Internet room.

Wireless access was added last week and there are plans to expand it in all rooms in the future, according to Lisa Knight Stevens, marketing director for the 374th Services Division.

“This is just the beginning,” she said. “Barring any technical issues, the remaining areas of Kanto Lodge will come online at a later date.”

The service is provided via a contract with an outside telecommunications company, she said. Laptops, personal digital assistants and other devices with wireless capabilities can be used.

Wi-Fi has been available at the base library since April 2005. This past April, the feature was brought to the Samurai Café, Yokota’s dining facility. It extends through the entire dining area and adjacent outdoor patio, giving airmen an opportunity to cruise the Internet while grabbing chow.

Other places around Yokota may receive the hookups down the road.

“Our main focus right now, in terms of wireless connectivity, is completing the job at the Kanto Lodge,” Stevens said.

“Customer response has been incredible. Walk through the lobby area at Kanto Lodge or the dining room at Samurai Café and you will see customers taking advantage of the service,” she said. “It is just one more convenience we can offer.”

She said the wireless movement at Yokota started as a customer inquiry and grew from there. By logging on to http://ice.disa.mil, people can share ideas for improvement and provide comments about Services facilities and programs.

“We take the comments and suggestions of our customers very seriously,” Stevens added. “If it is possible, we try to make it happen.”


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