New York bringing Wi-Fi to state parks
New York announced last week that the state now has wireless Internet available for visitors to four of its flagship state parks, including Niagara Falls.
“From Niagara Falls to Jones Beach, New York State has a tremendous array of world-class parks – and by launching Wi-Fi access at these flagship locations we’re making it easier than ever for visitors to take in everything they offer,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “By offering free Wi-Fi services at some of our most prominent outdoor locations we can continue to attract more people to the great outdoors – which boosts the tourism industry and grows regional economies across the state.”
The service is provided through a pilot program called Oh, Ranger! between the state, the American Park Network and Toyota. It also has been installed at Jones Beach, Saratoga Spa and the East River state parks.
The service will also provide the state’ Parks Department a way to collect more detailed data on park visitation patterns as well as generate awareness for upcoming programs and events.
“Today’s announcement is a terrific example of how creative partnerships can lead to better overall experiences for park visitors,” said Erik Kulleseid, executive director of the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York State Parks Program. “Enhancing the overall park experience though wireless service builds on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improve, upgrade and restore New York’s treasured state parks and ensure that they are safe, inviting and welcoming for generations to come.”
State and local entities are turning more to wireless Internet as a business development tool. For instance, the city of San Francisco is offering free Internet in its Market Street business district as a way to incentivize residents to visit that area where they will hopefully spend money at local businesses.
This program fits in with that as well as park visitors now have an added reason to visit, bringing added attention to the park programs and services.