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City Launches Free Wi-Fi At 5 Beaches

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North Avenue Beach (File Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

North Avenue Beach (File Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – Posting pictures to social media of your day at the beach or answering a work email while soaking up the sun is easier now at a handful of spots along the lake, with five Chicago beaches now offering free wi-fi.

Starting Friday, beachgoers will be able to access free high-speed wi-fi at North Avenue, Osterman/Hollywood, Montrose, Foster and Rainbow beaches, a statement from the mayor’s office said. The city says depending on the success of the program, additional spots at other beaches and parks could follow.

Through a partnership with Cisco and Everywhere Wireless which began in May, the Chicago Park District identified five beach locations with existing infrastructure that accommodates wi-fi connectivity. Connectivity is being provided by placing wireless infrastructure on existing buildings, including condo and apartment buildings near the beaches.

Everywhere Wireless provided the design at each location, Internet connectivity, backhaul equipment and setup. Cisco provided wireless access points and cloud management services; while the Park District is providing power, electrical work and infrastructure. Coverage will extend around buildings and concession areas.

Everywhere Wireless will cover the cost for the pilot program with the exception of power lines, according to the statement. The firm will pursue sponsorship to cover the cost of future expansion.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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