State Capitols-The New "Hot Spots"

Article excerpt

Looking for a new wireless Internet access point, of "hot spot," to surf the Web of check e-mail while keeping up with legislative events? Look no farther than your state capitol. They ate the new hot spots, joining the more highly publicized Starbucks, Kinkos, and various high-tech airports.

At least 14 states now offer wireless Internet access in the capitol for anyone who has a laptop equipped for wireless. Private citizens, journalists and lobbyists, while waiting for hearings or meetings with legislators, can track bill status and committee updates on legislative Web sites, and still keep in touch with business and family matters by e-mail.

Legislatures have long been ahead of the curve on adopting wireless. The historic nature of capitol buildings sometimes makes them incompatible with the wires and cables necessary to network computers, so wireless technology has been the perfect solution in many cases.

At least 32 states have wireless networks that allow legislators and legislative staff to access information on their laptops in the chamber of in offices. …