Wi-Fi arrives at local parks

April 25, 2014
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Free wireless Internet service is now available at Jamaica Pond Park and part of Franklin Park.

The recent installation is part of the City program called “Wicked Free Wi-Fi: Boston’s Public Wireless Network.” The program includes 170 access points throughout the city.

“Closing the digital divide and providing free public Wi-Fi in our neighborhoods is essential,” said Mayor Martin Walsh in a press release. “We want every Bostonian to have the same opportunities in today’s digital world. Wi-Fi access plays a significant role in every aspect of our lives from learning to earning. Our goal is to strengthen and expand our public network, and reach more families and businesses.”

To access the Wi-Fi at Jamaica Pond, a person needs to be in the vicinity of the boathouse and bandstand and enter “Boston Parks & Rec Free Wi-Fi” on a computer or handheld device.

Other parks that have Wi-Fi include Boston Common and the clubhouses at George Wright Golf Course in Hyde Park and William Devine Golf Course in Franklin Park.

Bringing public Wi-Fi to the city was originally the brainchild of then-JP City Councilor John Tobin around 2006, but former Mayor Thomas Menino commandeered the idea, as the Gazette previously reported.

“Maybe they emailed me the invite and I just didn’t get it. I wasn’t in a Wi-Fi zone,” Tobin joked at the time when he wasn’t invited to Menino’s announcement on the proposal for public Wi-Fi.

Menino’s proposal stalled after being studied by a task force. Walsh has instituted the service within his first months in office.