San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Wireless Internet Program Allows Access in Park

LAPTOP users can now, for a limited time, connect to the Internet while sitting in San José s National Park thanks to a broadband signal transmitted from the nearby Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) tower, making the park the country s first public space with wireless Internet connectivity.

The pilot project, which will run through Dec. 15, allows for connectivity within a 200-meter radius around the National Park, just east of downtown, and is part of a larger plan called Ciudad Digital ( Digital City ) to install fiberoptic cable throughout the city, improving its competitive technology, ICE President Pablo Cob told the daily Al Día.

In addition to free connectivity for those with their own laptop, cell phone or digital organizer, a new free Internet café adjoining the park offers ten computers available for public use, and complementary coffee. For security, the area will be patrolled by three police officers.

City officials including Cob and Mayor Johnny Araya inaugurated the project at a ceremony Dec. 5. Araya also expressed interest in making wireless service permanently available in the park, according to the daily La Nación. The Internet café is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and free wireless connection is also available during those hours.

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