Yellowstone seeks comments on a proposal to provide Wi-Fi for park visitors and employees
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: November 16, 2019

UPDATE AS OF NOVEMBER 15:

Please read this additional information about a proposal to provide Wi-Fi for park visitors and employees:

  • AccessParks is the Wi-Fi service provider that is requesting a permit to locate equipment in Yellowstone National Park.
  • The new wireless equipment would be installed on existing structures in existing developed areas.
  • 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.
  • There will be no new towers installed under this application.
  • The proposal would allow for the installation of 7 to 10-inch antennas to service housing and hotels in developed areas.

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – The National Park Service seeks public comment on a proposal to install indoor Wi-Fi networks and associated equipment throughout Yellowstone National Park’s developed areas for the benefit of park visitors and employees.

AccessParks has submitted an application for a right-of-way permit. If approved, the permit would allow for:

  • The installation of up to 484 small (10 x 10 inch or 7 inch diameter) antennas on employee housing and visitor lodging facilities at Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful.
  • To link the antennas to internet providers outside the park, 39 additional antennas would be required and 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
  • Coverage could eventually extend to other developed areas such as Norris, Madison, and Bechler for administrative and employee use.
  • Exterior antennas would be located in areas to minimize visibility. 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.
  • Examples of typical antenna placements and a list of affected properties are available here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap

The proposed installations would provide internet service to park visitors and employees in hotels and housing in developed areas. Consistent with the Yellowstone National Park Wireless Communication Services Plan, wireless access to recommended wilderness and park road corridors would be excluded.

Comments must be received by November 29, 2019. Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap, by hand-delivery, or by mail. 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.

Public Comment Considerations

  • Bulk comments in any format submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
  • Before including your address, phone number, email, or other personal information, be aware that your entire comment – including your personally identifiable information – may be made public at any time. You may ask us to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
  • The proposed project is an undertaking as outlined under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (36 CFR § 800) and this public comment period is part of compliance with that act. YNP is also consulting with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office on the proposed project. We welcome comments about historic properties or other cultural resources that fall within the project area.