Grand Canyon National Park Is Looking to Expand Its Cell Service (Video)
Grand Canyon National Park is considering building a stronger telecommunications system, making it easier for visitors to document their trip in real time (read: You would be able to post your Instagram stories asap).
According to a press release out Monday, the national park is looking into a plan "that would provide sufficient and reliable wireless coverage, data network capacity, and two-way radio communications to meet the needs of visitors."
The idea could include the addition of up to five telecommunications towers, small-cell technology in areas of the park — where cell service is notoriously spotty — with high visitation and a fiber-optic communications cable to link the park to a broader wireless network. The park is also looking to match the connectivity needs of the businesses and organizations that operate within areas like the North Rim, South Rim, Desert View and Highways 64 and 67.
However, according to the National Park Service, “It is nearly impossible to get and keep a signal at Grand Canyon, Marble Canyon, Arizona Strip, and area tribal lands.”
The best service in the park is found within Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.
The plan looks to bring coverage to the concession companies, schools, medical clinics, tribes, non-profit organizations and law enforcement agencies that operate within the park, National Parks Traveler noted. Law enforcement and emergency medical operations already use the park’s five two-way radio towers to communicate.
"The construction and operation of any new telecommunications infrastructure developed in accordance with this plan would require site-specific review and approval in accordance with current [National Park Service] policies," NPT explained.
The plan is open to public comment now through January 6 and a public open house will be held on December 16 at the Grand Canyon for those interested, and with 6.4 million visitors in 2018 there may be a a lot of interest for those looking to post their park selfies asap.
If it's approved, the implementation will start early next year.