Better cell service?

Yellowstone National Park officials are in preliminary discussions with CenturyLink about installing a $34 million fiber-optic line through neighboring Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone. That would dramatically improve mobile connectivity in certain developed areas for mobile devices.

Yellowstone has had a cellphone and Wi-Fi plan since 2009, though coverage is spotty, and expansion of coverage through fiber optic wiring would make Yellowstone’s existing technological offerings more effective. QR codes in visitor booklets can be scanned to link to an online trip planner, and apps have been developed by private companies to alert users to nearby wildlife, though only where there is cell service. Mobile apps could help users more fully explore plant and animal life. Another what-should-be obvious benefit for expanded coverage in Yellowstone, is that better service and easier communication between the public, rangers, and first responders, is safer for everyone in an emergency.