Yellowstone Looking at Wi-Fi Upgrades for Some Buildings
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park officials have unveiled a proposal from a company that wants to install Wi-Fi in the park’s developed areas.
AccessParks, a wireless network company, has proposed upgrading internet infrastructure all over the park within buildings managed by Xanterra Travel Collection, a private company that operates several of Yellowstone’s historic hotels.
A park document detailing some of the work says the company has proposed a “large-scale wireless communication system” that would cover Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake, Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs. It would boost internet access for Xanterra employees and guests.
It would involve five microwave antenna locations, 12 wireless backhaul antennas and as many as 480 transceivers that are 11 inches wide or less placed on the buildings receiving the service. It doesn’t call for any new towers or getting internet service into backcountry areas, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
Upgrades like that to historic buildings requires public comment, which officially opened this week. Yellowstone officials are also seeking comment on what those sorts of upgrades mean for buildings managed by the park itself and other concession companies, even though AccessParks hasn’t yet proposed making upgrades to those buildings.
News of the plan has riled some who don’t want to see the internet offerings expanded within the park, but Yellowstone and Xanterra officials say the upgrades are important and won’t soil any of the park’s storied buildings.
Tobin Roop, Yellowstone’s chief of cultural resources, said the park believes “this will not be an adverse effect.”
There’s no firm schedule for the work. The public comment period ends Nov. 29.