Want Wi-Fi while watching wildlife? Yellowstone considers new wireless infrastructure - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Want Wi-Fi while watching wildlife? Yellowstone considers new wireless infrastructure

(NPS / Jacob W. Frank)

CASPER, Wyo. — Bison, bears and Old Faithful are a few of the highlights at Yellowstone National Park.

The park service is considering allowing a new amenity to be installed: Wi-Fi service.

AccessParks is seeking a permit to locate wireless equipment in the park, Yellowstone officials said in a Friday, Nov. 15 release.

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“The new wireless equipment would be installed on existing structures in existing developed areas,” states the release. “No towers or antennas will be installed in or servicing backcountry areas.”

“Two microwave antennas would be put on the existing antenna support structure on Mount Washburn. These antennas would deliver service to the developed areas and would not broadcast Wi-Fi to visitors.”

New towers are not part of the proposal, though up to 484 7-10 inch antennas to service developed areas would bring wireless to housing and hotels in the park.

Those would service these areas:

  • Canyon Village
  • Grant Village
  • Lake Village
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Old Faithful

In order to link up with internet service providers, 39 additional antennas would be needed. Those would include:

  • 29 x 9 inch antennas installed at various locations in the developed areas at Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful  
  • 6-foot-diameter antenna installed at an existing tower at Old Faithful
  • one 2-foot and one 3-foot-diameter antenna installed on the existing tower at Mount Washburn

Other areas of the park could eventually see coverage including Norris, Madison and Bechler.

“Exterior antennas would be located in areas to minimize visibility,” Yellowstone adds. “Where visible, the installations would be painted to match the buildings on which they are installed.”

“In an effort to have no adverse effect to historic properties or districts, many of the antennas on National Register of Historic Places eligible structures would be located in attic spaces or under eaves.”

The public can provide comment on the proposal through Nov. 29.

“Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap, by hand-delivery, or by mail,” the park adds. “Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or by any other means.” 

“Hand-deliver comments during business hours to: Albright Visitor Center, Attention: Access Parks Broadband Proposal, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. Mail comments to: Compliance Office, Attention: Access Parks Broadband Proposal, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.”