Yellowstone Issues WiFi/Cell Plans

"Can you hear me now? I'm getting gored by a bison."
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"Can you hear me now? I'm getting gored by a bison."

Cell phone coverage and Wi-Fi in Yellowstone? Heresy, perhaps, but as the purple bard once said, it's surely a sign o' the times. But before you flip out about seeing Blackberry users in the most remote corner of the Lower 48, keep in mind that the park's assessment includes provisions that exclude cell phone towers and service from the backcountry.

Instead, Yellowstone National Park's environmental assessment of the impacts of cell phone and wireless networks could serve as a blueprint for sensible coverage within all national parks. In addition to restricting cell phone/wireless network coverage from the backcountry, park road corridors, and small developed areas, it allows for service availability in highly developed areas with hotels.

This means the majority of Yellowstone's 3,500 square miles will remain unplugged, but a marginal increase in coverage means you can let mom and dad know you weren't eaten by bears from the Lake Yellowstone Hotel parking lot. And if you were eaten by bears, your friends can upload the images to Flickr. It's a win-win situation!

— Ted Alvarez

Yellowstone National Park releases plan for cell phone towers, other wireless communication (AP)