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More Charleston parks equipped with free internet access

Colonial Lake afar couple with dog Charleston Parks Conservancy (copy)

Colonial Lake in Charleston is one of the city parks where free wireless internet access is now available. File/Provided

Free wireless internet access has been rolled out to six more public parks in the city of Charleston.

The Wi-Fi expansion stems from a partnership between online search giant Google and the nonprofit Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation.

The new networks announced on May 3 are at Colonial Lake, Corrine Jones Park, Harmon Field, Hampton Park, Mitchell Playground and Magnolia Park and Community Garden.

“Free Wi-Fi in Charleston’s public parks is a key ingredient in promoting community access to the internet and demonstrates Charleston’s ever-growing reputation as a technology hub in the region.” Google spokeswoman Lilyn Hester said in a written statement.

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Ernest Andrade, director of the Charleston Digital Corridor, said other parks within the city are also being considered for free wireless access.

Google opened a large data center off Highway 52 in Berkeley County in 2007 to help manage growth in online traffic, such as search requests, photographs and email messages.

In March, it announced plans to invest $500 million in the 500-acre site this year, bringing its total to $2.9 billion, but few details about the expansion were disclosed. 

The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology company has been sponsoring Wi-Fi sites in local public gathering places since 2012, starting at Marion Square in downtown Charleston, and it has donated more than $450,000 toward the project.

The other local networks Google has helped fund are in Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Summerville, Cypress Gardens, Waterfront Park and White Point Garden.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott

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