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Yellowstone seeks input on fiber-optic installation

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 10/7/20

The National Park Service is encouraging public comment on a proposal to improve telecommunication services in developed areas of Yellowstone National Park. The proposal includes removing antiquated telecommunication systems currently on mountaintops and from the backcountry as the new underground fiber becomes operational. If approved, the proposal would allow for the installation of fiber-optic cable along 187 miles of park roads and the installation of the conduit underground within the existing road corridor. All cables would be installed along roadsides for minimal impact on the park’s natural environment. Road closures and speed reductions would be in effect in work areas from April until early November for three consecutive years beginning in 2021. The park also aims to remove five microwave radio reflectors that were installed in the park’s backcountry around 1980. Currently, these reflectors are essential to the microwave radio telecommunication system but only provide for minimal telephone use, 911 and computer networks within the park. No new cellular towers would be installed under this proposal.

Comments must be received by Oct. 21 and can be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/fiber or by mail. 

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