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Free WiFi Now In Austin’s Public Parks

AUSTIN, Texas –(Business Wire)– May 18, 2004 Today at Republic Square Park, a collaborative effort by the Austin Wireless City Project, Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Parks Department, City of Austin, Downtown Austin Alliance, and Schlotzsky’s Deli announced support for the free WiFi movement by extending Austin’s free wireless Internet access to Austin City Parks. Initial parks where free access is provided are Republic Square, Auditorium Shores, Brush Square and Woolridge parks.

“The movement to provide free access to all visitors to Austin parks is a wonderful gift by this collaborative group,” said Jay Stone of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. “Austinites are by nature high-tech and love the outdoors. Combining the two should expand the use and enjoyment of the public park services.”

The objective of enabling parks and other outdoor locations is to support the availability and quality of free WiFi hotspots within the community and ensure Austin’s position as the “free-est wireless city in the world.”

Access in these parks is accessible to anyone with a wirelessly enabled device and a free Less Networks WiFi account. A laptop or wireless PDA (personal digital assistant) will be the most common devices.

“As free WiFi expands throughout Austin and the surrounding area, access to e-mail and other Web-based activities will make people’s lives easier, safer, and more productive,” says Rich MacKinnon of the Austin Wireless City Project.

According to recent usage statistics from AWCP, there are nearly 10,000 registered users of free WiFi in Austin with 65 new people signing up every day. “Adding Austin parks to the free WiFi movement is a triumph for the collaborative effort between Austin’s government, non-profit and commercial organizations,” says MacKinnon.


About Austin Wireless City Project

The mission of the Austin Wireless City Project is improve the quality and availability of public free WiFi in Austin. The Web site is http://www.austinwirelesscity.org/. The contact is Greg Fitzgerald at [email protected]


About Austin Parks Foundation

The Parks system started with the foundation of Austin in 1839. Today, the Parks and Recreation Department oversees more than 27,748 acres of land containing 191 parks, 9,114 acres of preserves, and 3,394 acres of creeks and canyon. The department currently maintains more than 74 miles of hike-and-bike trails; 40 miles of lake patrol; 172 athletic fields; and 90 playscapes. Other facilities include 17 recreation centers; 3 senior activity centers; 1 garden center; 1 nature and science; 1 art center; 2 party houses; 4 museums, 6 amphitheaters; 6 golf courses; 108 tennis courts; 47 swimming pools and 2 beach-front facilities. More information can be found at http://www.cityofaustin.org.


About Downtown Austin Alliance

The Downtown Austin Alliance is a partnership of individuals and businesses devoted to promoting and maintaining a safe, clean, attractive, accessible, and fun Downtown environment, making Downtown the Destination for Austinites and visitors. The partnership includes the Austin City Council and many businesses, civic and cultural organizations, and individuals. Providing private sector leadership, the Alliance works with government to develop and implement programs that enhance the business, cultural, and residential environment of Downtown, home to the Capitol of the Lone Star State.


About Less Networks

Less Networks creates downloadable customer-branded Free WiFi hotspots. Venues own their hotspot and manage it with simple web tools. Hotspot software lets venues communicate with their customers and log usage. Users gain access to all Less Networks hotspots and interact with others logged in from home or other venues. The Web site is http://www.lessnetworks.com/. The contact is Rich MacKinnon at [email protected]


About Schlotsky’s

Schlotzsky’s Inc., founded in Austin, Texas, in 1971, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a franchisor and operator of restaurants in the fast casual sector. As of Dec. 31, 2003, there were 561 Schlotzsky’s(tm) restaurants open and operating in 37 states, the District of Columbia and six foreign countries. Visit http://www.schlotzskys.com or http://www.cooldeli.com for more information.

Less Networks, Austin Richard MacKinnon, 888-577-4176 [email protected]