Welcome Centers operated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce now offer free Wi-Fi access.

There’s no charge for the service.

The state maintains nine centers adjacent to interstates and near the state’s border. Employees at the centers will provide users with passwords for access.

The Commerce Department sees the service as benefiting the state’s travel industry.

“Broadband connectivity has become vital to our state’s economy, in ways both large and small,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III in making the announcement. “People now expect Wi-Fi connections wherever they are, so it’s our pleasure to offer this important service to all travelers who are out exploring our state’s many treasures.”

Guest registry kiosks also were recently installed at the centers.

Each center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.