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Yellowstone to Upgrade Telecommunications Systems

The National Park Service (NPS) has signed a Finding of no Significant Impact (FONSI) for an environmental assessment (EA) to upgrade telecommunications systems in the developed areas of Yellowstone National Park.

According to a release, the FONSI was approved last year. The environmental assessment process was also accomplished in 2021. Still, the park continued to assess other potential impacts and requirements prior to the project‘s implementation.

A part of the FONSI indicates the installation of 187 miles of fiber-optic cable within previously disturbed zones along parks roads.

The applicant, Diamond Communications LLC, isn’t authorized to commence until the right-of-way (ROW) permit has been granted. If the permit is issued this year, work would begin next year.

Yellowstone‘s current microwave radio system was first built between 1979 and 1990. The data and telecommunications services on the system are unstable and fail to accommodate the park’s requirements for emergency communications, operations, and other forms of communication.

The telecommunications company has repaired the system 66 times last year.

The fiber installation along the road corridor will enable the park to take away 25 (five reflective panels and 20 antennas) pieces of obsolete and old equipment on various mountain tops and backcountry locations. It will significantly improve the speed of connection required to manage and operate the park.

The park welcomed public input on the project from October 2020 to March 2021 and received 288 comments which were considered in the final decision-making.

Additional project details include:

  • Telecommunication systems can be considered a utility and, like other utilities, are authorized on NPS lands using the ROW permit process.
  • About 8% of the park is currently covered by cellular service, which is intended to provide service only in developed areas and not along roadways or in the backcountry.
  • There is no plan to expand authorized cellular coverage beyond existing coverage areas.
  • Fiber will allow for a better quality of service within existing coverage areas.
  • This project is consistent with Yellowstone National Park’s Wireless Communications Services Plan that was completed through an EA in 2009.
  • Plans are proceeding to relocate cell towers from ridgetops to less visible sites in developed areas at Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs.
  • No new cellular towers will be installed under this project.
  • The applicant will pay for all up-front construction costs.
  • Most of the fiber optic cable will be buried in a 1-¼” conduit along park roadways.

Benefits to NPS staff, partners, and visitors include improved telephone, cellular phone, park computer networks, and broadband internet services to meet critical park operations, safety and emergency services, and visitor information needs and expectations in developed areas.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Yellowstone to Upgrade Telecommunications Systems! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/wyoming/yellowstone-to-upgrade-telecommunications-systems/