Florida will have free wi-fi at rest stops

US Border Patrol gets Wi-Fi:
The Wi-Fi First Responder Pilot Project is giving emergency personnel high-speed access to the Internet along the Canamex Corridor near Arizona's southern border. The project, which went live this month, spans a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 19 from Green Valley in Pima County to Rio Rico in Santa Cruz County. Its goal is to increase access to telecommunications for first responders and rural areas.

The Wi-Fi pilot project was funded by a $500,000 grant from the Federal Department of Homeland Security's Information Technology and Evaluation Program in May 2004. The state is partnering with the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council on the project. ATIC helped oversee the technology's installation, making sure the grant's requirements were met.

The first phase of a citywide wireless Internet network in Chandler, AZ, is poised to go live, and a similar system in Gilbert, AZ, is not far behind. Both Chandler and Gilbert are working with Bethesda, Md.-based MobilePro, and its subsidiaries NeoReach Wireless and Kite Networks, to build the country's largest contiguous wireless network. When completed in spring 2007, the network, which will dovetail with Tempe's existing MobilePro technology, will cover 187 square miles -- or five times its present size, said Kite Networks' Alan Crancer. Tempe's network was fully deployed in February.


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