Yellowstone eyes mobile compromise

Yellowstone National Park encourages deer, antelope and even grizzly bears to roam within its boundaries; it's still trying to figure out how to handle humans with cell phones. Park officials have released a draft plan to guide how wireless services develop within the park, including the location of some controversial cell tower sites at tourist spots like Old Faithful.

The plan hopes to reasonably balance civilization and nature by providing cell phone service and wireless Internet in developed areas where there are hotels and stores and limiting use in the rest of the 3,500-mile natural site, especially excluding cell towers from the back country, park road corridors and less developed areas.

The plan also includes moving a cell tower located near Old Faithful to a less visible site at a water treatment plant. Union Telephone leases space on towers constructed and owned by Alltel at several sites within the park and worked with the National Park Service on the plan. The company had mixed emotions on the plan--expressing disappointment that there were not more areas where extended service would be available.

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