The National Park Service has issued its first concessions contract for wireless internet service. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, located just outside of Las Vegas, is piloting the new fiber optic technology through a five-year contract that started Sept. 1, 2017.
“The way people gather and share information has changed. Visitors are looking for more than a park newspaper and map,” said Lizette Richardson, park superintendent. “Today, people search online for hike information, to read reviews, to watch videos from other hikers and to download maps. Offering Wi-Fi allows our visitors to do that, enhancing their visitor experience and providing an added element of safety.”
The fee-based service, provided by AccessParks, is available in the park’s developed frontcountry areas. Wireless download speeds are a minimum of 25 Mbps and upload speeds are a minimum of 10 Mbps. These speeds will support voice, video and data over any device with Wi-Fi capability.
Service is currently available at Boulder Beach, Lake Mead RV Village, Hemenway Harbor, Las Vegas Bay, Callville Bay, Willow Beach, Cottonwood Cove and Katherine Landing. It is expected to be active at Temple Bar and Echo Bay in 2018.
“Our team has decades of experience delivering broadband Wi-Fi to the most remote regions on the planet. We are thrilled at the opportunity to design, build and manage true broadband for our nation’s parks,” said Tim Rout, chief executive officer, AccessParks. “Our revolutionary technologies for fiber optic-fed Wi-Fi deliver speeds you would expect at home, at no cost to the government or venue operator. This is enabling park visitors of all ages to stay longer, learn more and share more of their park adventures with others.”
To access the wireless service, choose AccessParks in the wireless settings on any mobile device or computer while visiting a serviceable location. Then, open a browser and select a preferred package. The subscription will be valid at every location within the park where service is available.
Subscription rates are $4.95 per day, $14.95 per week and $29.95 per month per device. There are no data caps. AccessParks offers customer support 24/7 by calling 1-888-507-1128.
“Our park vision is to inspire and challenge everyone to find their connection to Lake Mead National Recreation Area,” said Richardson. “Offering wireless internet allows visitors to easily share that connection with the world.”