SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Californians, known for their love for the
great outdoors and for high technology, will soon be able to enjoy
both at the same time as state parks get Wi-Fi Internet access.
California State Parks officials said on Friday that SBC
Communications Inc. would install Wi-Fi links in 85 state parks over
the next six months. Increasing numbers of laptop computers and
handheld devices can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi signals.
The expansion into the state's vast park system marks the latest
spread of Wi-Fi service into open spaces, which already includes the
San Francisco Giants' baseball stadium and downtown San Jose, at the
heart of Silicon Valley.
San Elijo State Beach near San Diego is the first state park to
receive Wi-Fi access, which could, for example, enable surfers to send
up-to-date pictures and information about the waves.
Internet access will work in only a small fraction of the overall park
terrain, mostly around visitor centers and camping areas, said
California State Parks spokesman Roy Stearns. Hiking trails would not
be covered, he said.
Laptop computer users need a Wi-Fi card to get access to high-speed
Internet access and, if they are not SBC customers, they will have to
pay $7.95 a day for the service. SBC will share some of that
revenue with the state of California, an SBC spokesman said.
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