CARBONDALE — Families with loved ones in the military stationed overseas will be able to chat over the Internet at the campaign office of a local state senate candidate starting next week.
Michael Bigler, a Democratic challenging incumbent Republican state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld for the 58th senate seat, is hosting free Skype calls for military families at his Carbondale campaign office.
Skype is an Internet-base voice and video chat service. Bigler will host the service free of charge from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, starting Monday. The campaign office is at 201 S. Illinois Ave. in Carbondale.
Bigler was struck with the idea, he said, as he recalled members of his own family on a military assignment.
“I remember when my oldest brother, a Marine, was stationed in Okinawa (Japan) in the 1980s, and my mom would regulate how much time each of my four siblings and I could talk to Tom, as the cost significantly impacted our phone bill,” Bigler said.
Technology today has made it cheaper to reach out long distances, but Bigler said many places in the region don’t have access or can’t afford the high speed Internet necessary to make services like Skype work.