The line would serve the interior of Yellowstone and dramatically improve Internet connectivity for campers.
A group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) used a public record request to obtain details on the project.
Yellowstone’s original decision to allow cell towers is like a gateway drug, hooking the park to an unending electronic mainline. This will only help visitors avoid Yellowstone’s natural wonders by keeping their noses buried in ever-present and ever more engrossing devices.
CenturyLink wants to use the fiber optic cables to provide 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution) service to Yellowstone.
This would allow visitors to more easily download movies and use other bandwidth intensive Internet applications while in the park.
A COLT can provide up to three days of wireless service wherever its parked. The COLT is usually used to provide emergency service during hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.
They’re even parked outside baseball stadiums to flood the park with LTE capacity so people can surf the Internet during the game.
Criticism of the Plan
Yellowstone’s Wireless Plan, adopted back in 2009, said that,
Wireless communications in Yellowstone will be allowed in very limited areas to provide for visitor safety and to enhance park operations.
Some see the addition of fiber optic cables and COLTs as unnecessary for park operation and basic visitor safety.
4G has nothing to do with park operations or visitor safety. The vast majority of the park’s 911 calls today are misdails. Its Wireless plan was premised on the fanciful notion that Yellowstone would keep the lid on this cyber-Pandora’s box just slightly ajar. Clearly, these companies want their subscribers to be able to stream movies and download the latest music even in the world’s most famous natural areas.
Ruch argues that the installation of fiber optic lines goes against the ad campaign that the US Forest Service currently runs, which urges visitors to unplug and “Reconnect with Nature.”
CenturyLink has yet to formally apply for permission to install the lines. But now that PEER has found out what’s up, you can bet that you’ll hear more about it soon.
What do you think about the addition of fiber optic cables and 4G LTE service to Yellowstone? Are you for or against it?