For those who have trouble disconnecting from work to go play in Idaho’s outdoors, the state has made it easier to work, play, and stay connected while on the go. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation announced last week the initial offering of Internet access at 13 state parks, with more coming online in the near future. Department officials say the idea came from park user feedback and will help some partakers extend their stays at parks, thereby driving up revenue for the self-funded department.
Jennifer Wernex, spokesperson for the department, said that Internet connections at parks allow people to extend their stays and enjoy the wilderness of Idaho for elongated periods of time. "By providing Internet access, our campers and cabin visitors are lengthening their state park stays, now able to remain connected with friends and family or for business," said Wernex.
Campers will have access to the World Wide Web at 13 parks across the state and a map of which campgrounds are now equipped can be found here. The state is teaming with BlueMesh Networks to provide access to park-goers. "BlueMesh Networks, a fan of Idaho's great state parks, was excited to deploy our latest technology throughout the Idaho Park system as a demonstration of how well the technology works,” said Neil Neiwert, BlueMesh Networks president. “To date, we have gotten very positive feedback from public users and park staff in regards to the WiFi Networking project." The company provided the equipment to the state at no upfront cost.
Users at the 13 parks already set with Internet access will be allowed 20 free minutes of web time every 12 hours. Those who need more can purchase it in different increments of times. Season-long passes are available for $29.
The state is looking to have all parks equipped with Internet access by the beginning of the 2011 camping season.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.