The story of cell phones and wifi at A-Basin is long. I will try and give the Reader's Digest version in a few paragraphs.
Right now there is very limited cell phone coverage at the ski area and our wifi ability is weak. None of the cell carriers has a tower close by. The hard communication line buried in the US Highway 6 shoulder is at its capacity. The installation of a "backyard" cell system is not possible due to the hard line capacity issue. Our wifi system is limited by the hard line capacity. That is why the wifi sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Any cell phone implementation requires a million or multi-million dollar investment. For years the cell carriers have looked at the area for increased coverage. The question of having cell coverage here has never been "if", it has been "when."
So, ATT finally made the plunge and is installing cell phone repeaters at both the A-Frame and Black Mountain Lodge. Additionally, they are installing a substantial repeater that connects to the communication infrastructure downvalley, overcoming the hard line capacity issues. While I don't know exactly when, we should have ATT cell coverage at A-Basin sometime this season. A major benefit to this program is that with the new repeater connecting downvalley, our overall capacity to communicate will grow VERY DRAMATICALLY. Once the new cell phone system is online, we should have the ability to dramatically expand our wifi system.
The Hughes dishes you may have noticed have been around for about 3 years and they are part of the current wifi system. I hope when the whole new system is working that they can go away.
Lastly, regarding RFID. We would like to install RFID, but have a couple of very large challenges. One, it is very expensive and two, there are significant technical challenges integrating our proposed RFID with Vail's RFID system. While we are working on RFID and want to install it, I am not optimistic about a quick resolution. Keep that pass available, sorry.