Increasing broadband for rural needs

Paige Wireless connecting Arnold and other rural areas
Wind and R-Line Project
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 11:58 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - In rural Nebraska, offices can be found almost anywhere. They might be at a feedlot, or a home, or even in a tractor. It’s where many people do their work, and it is where they need connectivity.

Paige Wireless is setting the stage for those people, and that includes those who manage the nation’s food supply. Connectivity is finding its way to the places most important, right at ground level, where the soil, crops and animals are.

Julie Bushell, President of Paige Wireless, was in Arnold Thursday. She addressed a crowd at the Arnold Community Center about the “exciting news for the future of rural Nebraska.”

Village Chair for the Community of Arnold Glen Bowers gave opening remarks at the meeting, and welcomed guests. Big Red Communications T. J. Lattimer, Custer Public Power General Manager Rick Nelson, and Twin Platte NRD General Manager Kent Miller addressed the room to explain how Paige Wireless is helping in the Arnold area and beyond, and the importance of broadband for business and daily life in rural Nebraska.

Nelson sums up the connectivity issue for the area he serves with the phrase he coined; “Broadband over Cropland,” and he says providing this, and seeing Paige Wireless make this happen is something he has hoped for and dreamed about for a long time.

Field visits to the Smith Farm near Arnold and the Paulman Farm near Sutherland showed those attending the success of full rural access to these local businesses in agriculture.

In a brochure by Paige Wireless it reads: “Powering The Connected Farm.” The benefits of technology for farming are reveiwed. What used to be prohibitive to most due to sheer expense, is now cost-effective. Being connected decreases input costs and increases the bottom line in agriculture.

Paige Wireless explains that LoRaWAN and loT sensors offer instantaneious insights into soil moisture throughout the crops. They can pinpoint extra dry or wet areas that inhibit crop growth and highlight water logged areas to prevecnt excess fertilizer runoff.

The whole idea is to make life easier for “Heartland Heroes" and rural Nebraska.

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