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Main Street fires up free wireless zone
By Heather May
The Salt Lake Tribune

If you have a laptop and want to surf the Internet, Main Street now can be your portal.
   Salt Lake City - with XMission's help - is offering free wireless access from 500 South to South Temple on Main Street. Wireless Internet already is available at the Main Library and the Gallivan Center.
   And surfers should be able to plug in at Pioneer Park by the fall and at Liberty Park by next year.
   The official launch for the Main Street service is Aug. 9 - when there will be stickers, posters and brochures advertising "You're in the zone" - but XMission President Pete Ashdown said Tuesday that laptops can log on now.
   "It's free to anybody," Ashdown said.
   It's also free to the city.
   XMission - a Salt Lake City-based Internet service provider that also supplies free wireless access at several stores - has a three-year contract allowing it to place wireless radio transmitters on Main Street light poles.
   Ashdown wouldn't say how much it costs his company to provide the access, but he noted that it's good advertising for his company and is cheaper than a TV commercial.
   The businessman is running for Sen. Orrin Hatch's seat, but said he planned to provide free wireless on Main Street before he announced his Democratic candidacy.
   Matt McLain, a spokesman for the library, said the wireless service, available since 2003, is a hit.
   "You see people over by the fireplaces, they've got their laptops in their laps and they're sitting in the comfy chairs. Mostly, they look really happy."
    hmay@sltrib.com
   
   
     

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Copyright 2005, The Salt Lake Tribune.
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