Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Day 107: Internet in Yellowstone

I am behind with a few blog posts, but Mike and I are feeling so smug about something in particular that I have to post about it quickly.  Here I am on the porch of my cabin in Mammoth Springs, Yellowstone, writing a blog post.  Just this morning, I was browsing the net from the viewing terrace of the Old Faithful Inn, waiting for Old Faithful to go off.  And yet everyone you ask will tell you there is no internet in Yellowstone.  So how does this work? Frankly, I don't know, so I'm going to interview Michael.

Pen: Mike, how are we getting our internet here?
Mike: From Verizon Mobile Internet.

Pen: How does that work?
Mike: We bought this device called a MIFI which acts as a wireless router and connects to Verizon's 3G-4G wireless network.  You plug it in and it works just about everywhere.  We've had internet on the train across country almost constantly, in the National Parks and up the Pacific Coast.  Frankly, it's astonishing the number of out of the way places we've had internet access.  We're even running our phones off it.

Pen: Can we really get internet all over Yellowstone?
Mike: No.  It seems to be only in the villages. And it's often pretty slow.

Pen: So when we drove into Mammoth Springs, you were freaking out because you said there was no internet and you had to talk to someone?
Mike: It seems that it depends where in Mammoth Springs you are.  Maybe we have a better view of the tower from our cabin.

Pen: How much is this internet stuff costing us anyway?
Mike: It costs $50 a month for 5 GB of transfer.

Pen: Did we have to pay for that MIFI device as well?
Mike: The MIFI device cost about $300

I guess that's OK for a business expense.  Though I have to say, it's a bit slow here at Mammoth Springs and sometimes it refuses to download pages for a while, then it will - as you can see.  Basically, it's a whole lot better than nothing.  So while Mike is talking to someone tomorrow, Antonia and I will be enjoying the lovely surroundings of Mammoth Springs, which frankly are a lot nicer, more peaceful and just BETTER than the surroundings of Old Faithful.

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