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Free WiFi planned for National Mall

Free wireless Internet may be provided on Washington's National Mall under a plan announced by a nonprofit group on Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

Frisbee-throwers and lawmakers alike could soon be able to access free wireless Internet on Washington's National Mall under a plan announced by a nonprofit group on Wednesday.

Members of the Open Park Project already have set up a wireless access point covering the Supreme Court and the Capitol and say they hope to extend wireless broadband coverage across the capital's monument-filled core within a year.

Greg Staple, a director of the group, said free Internet access for anyone using a wireless-equipped laptop would enhance the traditions of free expression and democracy embodied in the public buildings and monuments that line the two-mile grassy strip.

"All of these folks are likely to benefit from free access," Staple said, gesturing to tourists, protesters and reporters on the front steps of the Supreme Court.

The group said it planned to install up to six more access points, or "hot spots," at an initial cost of $250,000.