Wi-Fi in the Quetico Park

While I don’t think wireless access at the Cache Bay Ranger Station on our end of the Quetico Park is in the cards, it may be for the north side of the Quetico.  Parks Canada is installing wireless internet hotspots at 50 parks this year.

Is “unplugged” even realistic anymore? While Boundary Waters veterans may crave the gadget free wilderness more and more people are “needing” to be plugged in 24-7.  I see it with my kids and their friends and even their grandparents! Texting at the table, searching for some piece of information you can’t wait an hour to figure out or shooting “selfies” people just can’t put their cell phones down.

How many people are going to be willing to go somewhere they can’t constantly monitor their Facebook Page or post photos to Instagram? It’s sad for sure but what’s even sadder is that fewer people will get to experience the wonder of the BWCA if they become addicted to their constant connections.

The good news is we all have a personal choice to unplug and seek the wilderness we crave. We don’t have to bring our gadgets if we don’t want to and for those who decide to? Well, they just better not let me hear their cell phone ringing or beep of a new text:)

The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 28, 2014 12:49PM EDT

OTTAWA — The quiet solitude and refuge from the connected world that many Canadians yearn for will soon be no more in dozens of Canada’s wilderness zones.

Parks Canada wants to install wireless Internet access hotspots at up to 50 of its parks this year, and it expects to triple that number soon afterward.

The agency is requesting tenders from contractors to install Internet access points at 150 locations over the next three years.

Some may see Canada’s national parks as places where families can escape the hustle and bustle of modern life without being tethered to online video games, social media and email.

But Parks Canada says visitors want to be able to stay in touch with work, friends and family, stay up to date on the news and connect with social media.

And it says modern cellphone coverage is either partial or non-existent at many of its parks and historic sites.

The agency says it expects to offer the service free of charge in some locations, but charge a fee in some cases, such as where the cost is excessive or the location particularly remote.

Many provincial and private parks across Canada currently offer some type of Internet access.

Ontario’s provincial parks authority has been experimenting with wireless Internet access since 2010 while Manitoba started installing Wi-Fi hotspots at its parks last year.

It’s not yet clear which national sites will offer Wi-Fi access.

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