Michigan state officials and SBC Communications Inc. are giving travelers free wireless Internet access at seven state parks and rest areas until April 30.
Known as MiWiFi, the program was initiated last fall but was rarely used during the winter. Officials are hoping the free offer will help promote the service and also provide a gauge for its popularity.
“Wi-Fi has been around for a few years now, but people are still getting adjusted to it,” said Jessica Nuñez of SBC, a major telecommunications company based in San Antonio, Texas. “People are getting used to having a high-speed Internet connection at home, and they don’t want to go without it when they travel.”
Currently, MiWiFi is available at the New Buffalo Welcome Center, Coldwater Welcome Center, Grand Haven State Park, Clarkston Rest Area, Holland State Park, Mackinac Island State Dock and Ludington State Park.
The system is part of SBC’s FreedomLink network of 6,700 hotspots, including 300 in Michigan. The service normally costs $7.95 a day or $19.95 a month.