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Call of the Wild: Connecting Park Systems with Managed Broadband

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Visits to state parks jumped more than 45 percent in 2020. Maryland alone had a record-breaking 21.5 million people its parks. Across the country, park visitors are seeking ways to unplug—if only for a while.  Hikers, campers, and guests alike want to be able to connect off the trails, and rangers and staff need connectivity to communicate with each other, perform their duties, collaborate with other properties in the park system, and provide guest services. For that reason, park systems of all sizes require enterprise-grade network connectivity.

A significant challenge for park systems, however, is that individual properties may vary widely in their broadband options. Some areas boast extensive communications infrastructure, while others do not, causing inconsistent user experiences. For example, long lines may form at guest check-in if the reservation management system stalls due to a sluggish network. Guests may get frustrated when Wi-Fi services are spotty or not nearly as fast as they enjoy at home.

“That’s why Hughes Managed Broadband is a natural fit. There’s a gap when it comes to parks having adequate connectivity and bandwidth to meet their own needs, let alone meet their guests’ expectations,” Tony Bardo, assistant vice president for Government Solutions at Hughes, explained.

Properties also have a vast range of needs, based on their size, amenities, and number of users. 

“When we look at providing solutions to park systems, we consider the networking needs of the restaurants, concessionaires, hotels, campgrounds, or facilities on the property,” he said. “Their needs vary from having to securely process credit card payments to training and scheduling staff.”

The Hughes team assesses each park’s requirements, along with broader network needs, taking into account goals to support digital initiatives or bolster cybersecurity. They also consider the role of cloud-based platforms and applications, like Deltek timesheet and payroll systems or CivicHR talent management software – resources often used in state and national park management. 

Hughes is an expert in building multi-transport networks for multi-site organizations. Using fiber, cable, 5G, LTE, satellite and microwave, Hughes optimizes the network on a site-by-site basis to provide the access types and speeds that will best meet park management and guest needs.

“We give parks a richness of network capacity, so no one has to tap their phone looking for a better or stronger signal. They can have everything they need today when it comes to communications and connectivity, as if they were in the heart of a densely populated area–even though they’re in remote or hard to reach areas. And our commitment to continually improve satellite communications means they will benefit from a tremendous boost in speed, availability and reach in the coming years.”

That’s the sound of Hughes answering the call of the wild.

Download the use case about connecting park systems in states and across the country here.