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Natural Resources & Energy

Yellowstone National Park Seeks Public Comment On Impact Of Wifi Expansion Plan

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Yellowstone National Park is seeking public comment on the possible impacts of a wifi expansion plan to historical properties. The proposal would connect areas like staff dormitories, administrative buildings, and high traffic tourist attractions like Old Faithful to wireless internet, or improve existing connections.

The park isn't seeking comment on the presence of wifi - the proposal already went through the public comment process and was approved in 2009. Yellowstone's Branch Chief of Technology Bret DeYoung said they're looking for input on how the change could impact historical properties.

"We're hoping that the public could take a look at the proposal from access parks and how they intend to install on historic properties and give us their thoughts on that," DeYoung said.

The wifi footprint will only be as large as the building in most cases and won't be available on roadways or in the backcountry.

"[With] wifi, as opposed to cellular coverage, we're able to limit the expanse of where wifi is to really the actual lodging itself. This is not a broad spectrum sort of push of data out," Yellowstone's Branch Chief for Cultural Resources Tobin Roop said.

The expansion plan can be viewed on the park planning website. Comments will be accepted until June 10.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.

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