Free Wi-Fi in Downtown Lansing

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If you take a look around, you'll see the signs at practically every cafe and coffee shop in Mid-Michigan -- signs for free Wi-Fi. And the latest place to offer it is downtown Lansing.

"It's a new version of Wi-Fi called MIMO which stands for multiple in, multiple out," says's President & CEO Kevin Schoen. "What it does is it uses a series of antennas to receive the data. It allows much faster bandwidth and much more reliable bandwidth." is providing the service as a way to test out the upgraded MIMO system it's named LansingNet.

"It's a very exciting development, the new technology that's out there, for our city from a standpoint of economic development, from having a cool city where people can be outdoors and log onto this high speed wireless network," says Randy Hannan, spokesman for Mayor Virg Bernero.

The wireless internet access will be offered, for free dowtown, for the next two to three months.

"Then after that we're going to charge for service," explains Schoen. "It'll be in the range of $10 to $25 per month is what we're asking."

The boundaries of LansingNet are: Saginaw Street to the North, I-496 to the South, Larch Street to the East and Pine Street to the West. While free public Wi-Fi may be an enormous perk, it can have its drawbacks.

"If you have a shared folder, people are going to be able to see that," says Brian LaValley of Geek Squad. "[Those who are] also connected in the same network [will be able to see.] The first step is to have an anti-virus and anti-spyware on there. Things that we recommend are Trend Micro and Spy Sweeper because it has an active protection in it."

For now, LansingNet's boundaries will remain relatively small, but there are already plans to expand its reach. To log on to the free wireless service got to

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