SEATTLE – Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon.
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Mount Rainier National Park is considering proposals by two carriers to provide cellular service in the park, setting off a debate about whether people enjoying the park should have access to calls, and social media while in nature.
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have applied to install telecommunications equipment on the visitor center at Paradise, one of most heavily used areas in the park. No towers would be built; antennas would be located below the roofline of the visitor's center.
Some say cell service would improve safety and provide a convenience for visitors. Others say the proliferation of phones will distract from the natural beauty of surroundings.