The Good Stuff


03/17/2024

Fort Carson Boss Lounge Supports Soldiers with High-Speed Boingo Wi-Fi

By Team Boingo
  • Case Study
  • 3 min read

The health, wellness and readiness of troops living on base is critically important. To support junior soldiers, the Army’s Better Opportunities for Single Solders (BOSS) program was established in 1989. With 74 BOSS communities Army-wide, today BOSS operates with three core pillars—community service, leisure and recreation, and quality of life—to coordinate everything from white water rafting trips to public speaking and cooking classes, as well as dedicated lounge areas for peer-to-peer relationship building.

Boingo caught up with Fort Carson BOSS Program Administrator Gia Gillotte-Taylor to learn more about the program’s priorities and her recent efforts. At Fort Carson, located in Colorado, the BOSS program has recently hosted snowboarding lessons and ceramic classes, among a long list of community events. The project Gia has been most excited about is a new facility called the BOSS Lounge. Gia describes it as a place where soldiers can go to hang out, outfitted with a pool table, video games and TVs.

“Before the BOSS Lounge was created, the soldiers didn’t have any place to congregate. It’s very important for soldiers to have a community space, to get out of the barracks and meet other soldiers so they don’t feel isolated,” explained Gia. However, the space Gia’s team had available didn’t have any Wi-Fi access. She explained, “wireless connectivity was a huge part of the facility plan. All the TVs are smart TVs, the gaming systems require Wi-Fi and soldier mobile devices needed to work. For the lounge to be a success and support soldiers, we needed fast Wi-Fi.”

Gia teamed up with Boingo for extensive Wi-Fi coverage throughout the lounge to effectively power a variety of high-bandwidth online activities running simultaneously. Boingo designed, installed and manages the comprehensive network that launched with a Super Bowl party.

With the Fort Carson BOSS Lounge up and running, Gia says the soldiers are appreciative and starting to use the space in small groups. Gia and her team empower soldiers to organize and lead events in the lounge and welcome ongoing feedback. With Boingo’s support, the lounge even turned an indoor electrical power pole into a charging station. In the months ahead, Gia hopes to host pool tournaments and develop a plan to maximize the adjacent outdoor space.

We asked Gia if she had any pro tips for others looking to implement similar on-base lounges. Her advice was:

  1. To efficiently move through the lounge’s funding and approval process, have a point person on base who can organize the details from start to finish.
  2. Bring groups in to test the space and share their feedback; that was extremely helpful in creating a lounge that gives troops what they want.
  3. Work with Boingo to make sure you have enough Wi-Fi bandwidth to support mobile devices alongside gaming consoles, smart TVs and other tech you may want to add down the road. Boingo can also deploy the network with specific content filters if needed.
  4. Secure devices on the Wi-Fi network with high levels of cybersecurity. Boingo networks feature zero-trust architecture.

Congrats to Gia and her team for their successful launch, and for their dedication to creating a welcoming, functional, tech-friendly space for Fort Carson soldiers.

If you’re interested in launching a similar program at your base, please contact us at militarysolutions@boingo.com.