MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) – The National Park Service (NPS) encourages public comment on a proposal to improve telecommunication services in developed areas of Yellowstone National Park. The proposal would also give the park the opportunity to remove antiquated telecommunication systems currently on mountain tops and from the backcountry as underground fiber within the road corridor becomes operational.
If approved, the proposal (an application for a right-of-way permit) from Diamond Communications, LLC. would allow for:
- The installation of fiber-optic cable along 187 miles of park roads. See map.
- Appropriate equipment e.g., rubber-tracked vehicles, to install the conduit underground within the existing road corridor, immediately adjacent to and/or directly into the roadbed. See photo.
- Temporary and localized traffic restrictions and speed reductions in work areas from April until early November for three consecutive years.
- Construction to begin as early as 2021.
- The removal of five microwave radio reflectors that were installed in the park’s backcountry around 1980. Removal could begin in the near future.
- Currently, these reflectors are an essential component of the park’s microwave radio telecommunication system.
- The existing microwave radio system is the only means of telecommunication (telephone, 911 and computer networks) to the park.
- Each reflector is about 28 feet high and 24 feet wide.
- Broadband over fiber-optic cable could replace this antiquated system.
Additional proposal details include:
- It is estimated that 8% of the park is currently covered by cellular.
- The proposal would not expand authorized cellular phone coverage areas in the park but would substantially improve coverage quality in existing developed areas.
- This proposal is consistent with Yellowstone National Park’s Wireless Communications Services Plan.
- No new cellular towers would be installed under this proposal.
- Diamond Communications, LLC. would pay for all of the up-front construction costs.