Mount Fuji Getting Connected to the Internet
The ancient mountain and global tourist destination has been offline for most of eternity, but now visiting climbers will be able to check their e-mail while on their way to the summit.
One of the hot spots will also be at the summit, 12,388 feet in the air. This will enable a whole new kind of digital tourism, where people want to check in from the summit of Mount Fuji on Facebook and the like.
There are also, certainly, some safety implications made by having this capability throughout the mountain. The co-ordination of rescue efforts might be better conducted, and weather updates can be passed more quickly to hikers. Potentially, tourists could even live stream parts of their treks up the massive natural wonder.
A local telecommunications company called NTT Docomo has partnered with the government to provide the free wi-fi service, which expires three days after activation. It is unclear, but it would make sense if this wi-fi then cost the user. This would not negatively impact the tourist industry since most people would not try to use the service for more than three days in any case.
According to one Japanese source, as many as 300,000 people try to climb Mt. Fuji every year. It is unclear whether data is kept on those that succeed, but it would seem that everyone who even visits the site would find some use in being able to communicate with others about it. For those with cellular companies that don’t work in the area, the service could enable voice-over-IP calling with programs like Skype.
Images from Pixabay.