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Yogi Bear Gets a Cellphone

5:50 PM -- The Associated Press reports today that the National Park Service, already criticized for erecting a cellular tower within spouting distance of Old Faithful, is "quietly preparing a plan that could expand wireless towers and antennas as well as TV and radio service in [Yellowstone National Park]."

According to documents obtained by an advocacy group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Whistleblowers Local No. 525, it sounds like to me), Yellowstone officials met in secret last year with telecom companies, including Verizon Wireless and Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), to seek their recommendations on extending wireless services in the park. A final decision on the proposed expansion is expected by year's end.

This is the sort of laughably awful idea that could only emerge from a bloated, misguided (and underfunded) federal bureaucracy like the National Park Service.

In other news, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK) announced plans to build a wireless mesh network in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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