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Country Internet Access

Check out the Internet connection for your country home, and take a close look at broadband internet, cable internet, or satellite Internet service.

| November/December 2014

  • Checking commodity prices from the field may help save time.
    Photo by Fotolia/pinkyone
  • Satellite dishes are a familiar sight in the country. Sometimes these services are the only way to connect to the outside world.
    Photo by
  • New gadgets are on the market to provide a farmer access to a wide range of information while in the cab of his tractor.
    Photo by
  • Handheld GPS devices are a great way to find your way back to your favorite mushroom hunting spot.
    Photo by Meyrl

A dairy farmer needs to check which cows are coming into heat for the breeding season. He also needs to take a look at a couple of heifers in the back pasture that haven’t been eating well lately. Instead of grabbing his coat and pulling on his boots, he walks down the hall to his office, turns on the computer, and with the aid of remote sensors and transmitters, gathers all the information he needs in order to make effective decisions. The wireless transmitters located on the cows send data to his computer program that allows him to know when it’s time to move the bull down to the pasture. He can also tell that those two heifers he’s been worried about have actually been eating well for the last 24 hours.

It’s time to plant the spring crops. Odds are that today’s modern farmer spends a large portion of his preparation time on the computer monitoring things like soil temperature, moisture amounts, short-range weather forecasts and current market trends.

The farmer may also spend time analyzing GPS coordinates and statistics gathered remotely through the Internet from GPS units mounted in tractors and other equipment. Programs also exist that will log in to the on-board diagnostics of the farm’s equipment and report any performance issues that need to be addressed long before it would be noticed by the operator of the equipment.

A retired farmer and his wife have discovered new and profitable pastimes by selling homemade silver jewelry and metal art sculptures made from parts salvaged from old farm machinery. They designed and created a website to market their creations and have customers from as far away as England and Mexico. They are enjoying their rural lifestyle, and they are able to market their products through the web.

The common thread linking these scenarios is the ability to easily and consistently access the Internet from a rural location. While new software programs and systems are being developed to enhance productivity in rural areas at mind boggling speed, without Internet connectivity there isn’t a way to take advantage of them.

Whether you are tracking farm equipment and assets, marketing services or products through a blog or social media, or even if you just want to email your family and friends to stay in touch, being able to connect to the Internet in rural areas is seen by some as critical to your quality of life. Although rural residents’ access to the Internet is much more limited than their urban counterparts, rural Internet users do have options available depending on their locations. Here are some of the current options available for rural Internet access.

1/6/2015 5:53:56 AM

Tim, Wifi and mobile wireless are two completely different forms of network access and should not be conflated. Understanding that provides a pathway to getting overall access costs down 90% for rural customers and making broadband truly ubiquitous. Michael Elling NYC

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