07/19/2013 01:27 pm ET Updated Jul 19, 2013

Chicago Launches Free Wi-Fi At Five City Beaches


They may not rank among the world's sexiest, but starting Friday, Chicago's beaches will at be among the most wired.

Friday, the city announced free public wi-fi is coming to five Chicago beaches: North Avenue, Osterman/Hollywood, Montrose, Foster and Rainbow beaches, with a long-term plan to extend coverage to parks, beaches, and public plazas across the city.

“With today’s busy lifestyle, it’s important that we stay connected even when we’re spending a day at the beach,” Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael Kelly said in a statement. “The availability of wi-fi adds a new amenity to the great experience that our beaches already offer.”

Wi-fi infrastructures has been placed on existing buildings, NBC Chicago reports. Those near the beach's concession areas and surrounding buildings may be able to piggyback on the public wi-fi as well.

The plan is yet another of the mayor's envisioned public-private partnerships, this time crafted with Cisco and Everywhere Wireless.

Crain's Chicago Business reports Cisco donated $75,000 to $100,000 worth of equipment, primarily wireless access points, while Everywhere Wireless has been implementing the infrastructure over the past several months.

Currently, there are no immediate plans to extend the service to additional beaches.



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