A hot zone is a wireless access area created by multiple hot spots located in close proximity to each other. Hot zones usually combine public safety access points with public hot spots. Each hot spot typically provides network access for distances between 100 and 300 feet; various technologies, such as mesh network topologies and fiber optic backbones, are used in conjunction with the hot spots to create areas of coverage.
Within the United States, hot zones range from downtown core area networks to networked areas covering hundreds of square miles. Cook County, Illinois (where Chicago is located) recently received authorization for a county-wide hot zone that, when complete, will cover 940 square miles.