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Bob Larson Connect Americans Now Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: January 07, 2019

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With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. We talked yesterday about using old, outdated TV 'White Spaces' to connect rural America to the internet.

Microsoft is behind a collective effort of groups attempting to connect farmers and ranchers in rural areas to broadband with those unused frequencies.

Zachary Cikanek is with Connect Americans Now ...

CIKANEK ... "If you remember the last time you used a set of bunny ears on a TV and scrolled through the UHF bands on your dial, you probably came across channels that were just white noise. Those are channels no one's using. They're called 'White Spaces' and after the digital TV transition in 2009 there's an abundance of vacant channels available and they tend to be in the 600-to-700-megahertz range. And, if you have access to that spectrum, you can deliver high-speed internet as far as 9-miles out from an antenna."

And, Cikanek says the reason for that?

CIKANEK ... "Not all spectrum is created equal. If you're in a coffee shop, your computer is probably talking to a Wi-Fi router at 2.4-gigahertz. That's 2.4-billion radio waves per second. But, that signal disappears the second you walk out the door. If you're listening to AM radio, on the other hand, you can hear it from two states over and the radio waves are coming to you at about 10,000 waves per second."

Cikanek says with the ag industry becoming increasingly more reliant on new connected software and precision ag technology, Connect Americans Now could drastically change the way farmers manage their operations.

Listen tomorrow for more on this high-tech initiative.

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