Cell phone service is almost universal across the United States. There are few places in the country where the service does not exist. It just so happens that these places are located inside national parks. The main reason for the lack of service is the size of the park, and also because nobody lives there on a permanent basis. For another, there are people who believe that it is best not to have any cell service or wifi service inside the parks.
The following are reasons for keeping cell service out of national parks, or at least to limit the service to the outlying areas.
Peace and Quiet
People go to parks to relax and enjoy nature. They usually explicitly want to leave technology behind. It is not that they want to immerse in nature, but they want to decompress and have some peace and quiet. This may seem like a lame excuse, until you consider the many ways that a person can be contacted. There are calls, text messages, email, chat, as well as various forms of social media.
For those who cannot leave Instagram behind, is it really necessary to shoot a picture and post it on Instagram as soon as possible? This is almost akin to the question about taking pictures of food in restaurants: is it really necessary for your friends to know what you are having for lunch?
Initially, these forms of communication was meant for you to receive messages of importance. If they were not important, then they can be dealt with when you return to the civilization. Canâ€™t the office survive the weekend?
Sure, there is the fun of sending a picture immediately. But isnâ€™t it as much fun when you send the picture once you get back from vacation? Do you want to send as much time sending pictures and composing posts as you do just lounging and trying to de-stress?
The truth is, being afraid of losing touch with the internet is a sign of a internet addiction. Secondly, the very act of bringing a phone brings tension and stress to a person.
When in a park, enjoy nature and relax.
One reason for the popularity of social media is the joy of sharing. Sometimes this masks the urge to keep up with your neighbors. Posting on social media is not just telling everyone where you are and what you are doing, but it also brings satisfaction because you are on vacation, and those who can see it are not. It does not make sense that you want people to envy you. Canâ€™t you just leave an auto-reply saying that you are on vacation and cannot be disturbed?
Being surrounded by nature is one of the few remaining true luxuries in life. There are only so many places where that is possible. There is also the luxury of leaving your electronic devices behind. When going on a trip remember that you donâ€™t need to keep in touch with everyone. Again, that urge is counter to the concept of relaxing. You shouldnâ€™t worry about other people, as they will be still be there when you get back.
The isolation of being inside a national park is not going to be possible for long. Understand that soon, only the largest parks will not have any service.
Keeping Infrastructure Out
From an engineering viewpoint, cell sites need to be installed inside parks in order to provide service. However, financially, these sites will not be bringing in any income. Nobody lives in the woods, forests, deserts, mountains of state parks.
In order to provide cell coverage for any given area, a network of towers has to be erected. Typically, these towers should be at most 10 miles from one another. If there is heavy traffic or a lot of users, there could be more towers constructed nearer to one another. Another consideration is that the topology looks like a hexagon when seen on a map. This means that a single tower will be equally distant with three other towers. Supposedly, if the towers are too far away from one another, then cables will have to be laid down to connect the them together. However, having towers far from one another would leave blind spots where there is no service.
With the above consideration, you would see that when a big area like Yellowstone National Park, or the Grand Canyons is setup with cell service, the towers would stick out all over the landscape. On top of that, these towers require electricity, as well as access roads.
With all of that infrastructure, a park would no longer have the same natural feel. It would be a violation of what the park stands for.
Whenever you visit a national or a state park, think about the parkâ€™s main draw. Understand that you went to the park to see nature and to be far from the high stress job that you have. This is a chance for you to de-stress, release all the tension, and just relax and enjoy yourself.
In contrast, when you know that there is going to be internet service, or a phone carrier service in a park, you would feel the need to bring your cellphone, tablet, and even your laptop along. Your whole family will bring their own devices. This is not what national parks are about. They are meant to preserve nature and allow people to visit the park in its natural state.