Officials OK’s cell service at Mount Rainier National Park

ASHFORD, Wash. (AP) — The National Park Service has granted permits to two carriers to provide cellular service at Mount Rainier National Park.

The park service said Tuesday that it has approved letting Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile install telecommunications equipment on the visitor center at Paradise, one of most heavily used areas in the park.

Park officials say AT&T has submitted an application and may be added pending review and approval of their proposal.

No towers would be built; equipment would be located below the roofline of the visitor’s center.

The cell proposal set off a debate about whether people enjoying the park should have access to calls, and social media while in nature.

Some say cell service would improve safety and provide a convenience for visitors. Others say the proliferation of phones would distract from the natural beauty of surroundings.