Cell Service Getting Better in Yellowstone NP
Cell phone service in Yellowstone National Park will see improvements this summer despite criticism from some that argue increased connectivity takes away from the serenity of the country's first national park.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Park Superintendent Dan Wenk recently signed off on a telecommunication improvement project that includes upgrades to wireless infrastructure at Mount Washburn and Grant Village with new towers at Canyon Village and Lake.
Bret De Young, the park's telecommunications chief, said the Verizon Wireless project will improve the speed of wireless service, but won't go so far as to allow streaming movies. He says people want to be able to check hotel reservations or use National Park Service apps on their phones. Improved service is also needed for park workers, he said.
Work at the Mount Washburn site has already begun, requiring park officials to close some trails to visitors.
The national group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, opposes the expansion.
"Hiking and communing with nature has become secondary at Yellowstone to sending selfies, receiving texts and playing online games," PEER executive director Jeff Ruch said in a statement.
(The Associated Press Contributed to This Story)