April 29, 2014 6:17 pm
Parks Canada is looking to add WiFi access to portions of 50 national parks by the end of the year. While the beeps, vibrations and ringtones of smartphones may lead to a corrosion of the peaceful atmosphere that camping promises, the organization says that it has received numerous requests from visitors over the years.
Cellular access is still sporadic throughout the national parks system, limited mainly to highways and main roads in and out of the facilities. WiFi, which would be free in most areas with optional paid access for more remote areas, could allow for recreational web browsing and VoIP calls, though it’s unclear how fast the service will be.
The Globe and Mail interviewed John Langford, owner of camping trip organizer Voyageur Quest, who thoroughly dislikes the idea. According to him, and many others, camping is all about getting away from anxiety-producing notifications (and I tend to agree with him).
On the other hand, it isn’t difficult to enable Airplane Mode for the duration of one’s trip, and WiFi access will undoubtedly be limited to more heavily-visited areas of the parks.
What do you think? Would WiFi access entice or discourage a trip to a national park?