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Club adds hot spot for Wi-Fi access to Internet

Wireless Internet access has expanded in Lancaster.

A representative of the Lancaster Amateur Radio Club informed the Town Board on Monday that the club had established a free Wi-Fi hot zone in the area around the Town Complex on Pavement Road.

Wi-Fi, short for wireless fidelity, enables capable laptops to connect to the Internet.

"The town can now tout that it has two full-time . . . Wi-Fi hot spots," said Scott Thrun, a member of the club's board of directors.

"It's free for town taxpayers to use. We're paying the freight," he added. Last year, the the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce flipped the switch on the town's first Wi-Fi zone, which blankets the Central Avenue area between Broadway and Pleasant streets in the Village of Lancaster's business district with free Internet access.

Thrun said his club's new hot spot has been up and running for about a month.

"You can get into it from [about] half a mile away. . . . We overbuilt it a little," he said.

"The reason why we did it is twofold," Thrun added. "One, we to serve the community. Second, we provide a link-up with the [town's] emergency communications vehicle."

Thrun said plans are under way to increase the range of the new zone.

"What we'll be able to do is, anytime we go on a call in the Walden corridor, we should be able to put an antenna up, . . . and we can add to Pavement Road, which would be very good, because you could do video, instant messaging [or] anything [else] you can do on high speed Internet, you'll be able to do from the communications vehicle back to the site," he said.

Thrun said the town might want to consider expanding the service to nearby town parks.

"We've been working with the technology enough that if you folks want to ask me to go into those areas, we can show you how to do it . . . for [about] $300," Thrun said.

The club uses space in the Town Center.

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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