LONG BEACH - Visitors to city parks who want to stay plugged in may soon be able to connect wirelessly to the Internet.
The Long Beach City Council voted 9-0 Tuesday to direct staff to investigate bringing Wi-Fi service to existing parks and integrate it into future parks as a cost of construction. A report will be forwarded within 90 days to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, who authored the proposal, said the amenity would benefit recreational park users as well as workers who increasingly rely on Internet access wherever they go for their jobs.
"They're no longer working in the office in a 9-to-5 environment like people used to," Garcia said.
Dozens of municipalities across the United States offer wireless Internet at select locations or citywide.
According to Garcia, Wi-Fi is offered in California state parks and in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
"You name a major city and they're working on this project," he said.
The vice mayor's idea has attracted more than 600 "likes" on his Facebook page.
Councilman Patrick O'Donnell supported Garcia's request for a report but expressed reservations.
"Just looking at the condition of our parks, the infrastructure, I have to be honest, this is just not a high priority for me," O'Donnell said.
Garcia said, though, that public-private partnerships may be able to provide the service for little
The resolution was co-sponsored by Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and Councilman Steven Neal.