Would you use wifi in the wild? (survey)
Sami describes a park that encourages visitors to leave cell phones behind, "to help visitors to take a break from their gadgets and really start to enjoy the world around them."
Meanwhile, the number of people using national parks continues to drop. In the USA, 9.2 million people camped in 1998; in 2009, there were only 7.91 million. In Canada, the agency running the national parks is rolling out hotspots in 50 parks and plans to triple that number in a few years. According to the Star,
Some may see Canada’s national parks as refuges 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.
I suspect that Sami and the New Forest National Park are barking up the wrong Monopine (a cell tower disguised as a tree) with this one. People want to be connected. People feel safer when they are connected. You can't roll this one back.