Cell service at Rainier: Do you want to hear me now?

IndustriesAssociated Press

Spotty or no cellular service has been the norm at the nation's fifth oldest park south of Seattle, but that could change soon.

Continue Reading Below

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.