Free wireless Internet connections are now available at Jones Beach State Park as a part of a pilot program in which the service is expected to expand to other New York State parks.
The new network, called Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™, is not funded by taxpayers, New York State officials said. It is sponsored by Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and American Park Network, a company that publishes visitor guides to national parks.
“Whether using Wi-Fi to share real-time photos of friends and family exploring our parks, or accessing apps and maps, having the option to take advantage of this technology is a great way to draw more people to spend their precious leisure time at our parks,” Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said in a news release announcing the new service on Wednesday.
The state also announced the service will be offered at some of the state’s other most popular state parks, including Niagara Falls, Saratoga Spa and East River State Parks—which collectively account for 30 percent of all visits across the state parks system.
Officials said the connectivity also provides the opportunity to better monitor park visitation patterns, generate awareness of upcoming programs and events, promote volunteerism and support parks friends groups such as the National Heritage Trust.
Visitors seeking to log on to the Wi-Fi select “Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™” under available Wi-Fi networks on their device and then accept the standard terms and conditions.
Jones Beach is not the only oceanfront park on LI that has free WiFi. All Suffolk County parks, including Smith Point in Shirley and Cupsogue in Westhampton, also provide the free service. Babylon town beaches such as Gilgo, Cedar and Overlook beaches do the same—although service on the town and county networks can be spotty.