Michigan parks get Wi-Fi

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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"Room to roam"

This week, Michigan became the first state to provide wireless Internet access at its state parks and other recreation areas.

The MiWiFi network is now available in two parks on the shores of Lake Michigan — Holland and Grand Haven state parks — and will be piloted at three other parks and two rest areas by October, according to officials. The service will be available in other parks as they reopen next year.

Michigan officials from the Information Technology, Natural Resources and Transportation departments came together with officials from Michigan Economic Development Corp., a public/private sector partnership, to develop the contract with SBC Communications Inc., said state chief information officer Teri Takai at the Sept. 1 announcement.

Visitors to the parks and recreation areas can access the FreedomLink Wi-Fi service from SBC for $7.95 a day, or pay a higher monthly fee that will provide access through any FreedomLink hot spot around the country. Access to the Michigan.gov site is free. Free access also is planned for MEDC's Michigan.org site, which serves as the state's official bureau for travel, employment and business services.

"This new service appeals to a certain segment of our population, making their trip to our parks even more convenient," said Rebecca Humphries, director of the Department of Natural Resources.

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