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Wi-Fi service comes to Robert Moses State Park

Beachgoers enjoy a sunny and warm day at

Beachgoers enjoy a sunny and warm day at Robert Moses beach at field 5 Monday afternoon in West Islip on August 3, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

Posting beach selfies just got a lot easier at Robert Moses State Park.

The ocean beaches at the popular barrier island park in Babylon are now home to free Wi-Fi, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday. Robert Moses follows Jones Beach State Park, which got free Wi-Fi last summer as part of a pilot program.

The Wi-Fi is available at Fields 2, 3, 4 and 5 at Robert Moses and is sponsored by Toyota in partnership with the state's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the American Park Network, Cuomo's office said.

Visitors who want to access the free Wi-Fi can get it by selecting the Oh, Ranger! network under "available Wi-Fi networks" on their device, accepting the terms and watching a brief Toyota ad.

Aside from allowing beachgoers to post sandy selfies within seconds of taking them, the technological add-on is also intended to draw more people to the parks, Cuomo's office said in a news release.

"Whether opting to use Wi-Fi to share real-time photos of friends and family exploring our parks, or accessing apps and maps, having access to this technology is another way to draw people to spend precious leisure time at our parks," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said in a statement.

Niagara Falls, Saratoga Spa State Park and East River State Park got free Wi-Fi last summer, the state said, and it's been a huge boon for park visitors locally.

"The Wi-Fi at Jones Beach has been a tremendous asset, especially with the fireworks and air show programs," said George Gorman, deputy regional director for the state parks office.

Feedback has been overwhelming and positive, Gorman said, and he hasn't heard any complaints from beachgoers about other visitors' abusing the privilege by loudly streaming music.

Gorman said the free Wi-Fi at Robert Moses, which sees 3.4 million visitors annually, recently became operational. On Sunday more than 2,000 people used it, he said.

"We hope it will draw more people to the park, especially on weekdays," Gorman said. "The fact that you have something more to do than just lying out on the blanket. . . . That's been a big aspect of why people are enjoying it; they get to sit there and do more."


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