Minnesota House Passes $35 Million Broadband Expansion Bill

By Stephen Kota / May 5, 2016

On April 28, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted 72 to 54 in favor of a major omnibus bill that includes $35 million in grants to rural broadband expansion in 2017 and 2018. The bill will now advance to the state senate where, by late May, it will be put to a vote. The most…

Rural Internet Service Providers Guide

By Stephen Kota / May 3, 2016

Internet service subscriptions are sold in metropolitan areas and suburbs based on their throughput speeds alone. Out beyond the suburbs and into the rural market, providers sell subscriptions as blocks of data with a limiting data cap on each plan. Internet service subscriptions are sold in metropolitan areas and suburbs based on their throughput speeds…

Is T1 Internet Practical for Your Rural Business?

By Stephen Kota / April 28, 2016

Oh yes, A T-1 Internet is a dance you must get budgeted for. It is Pricey. It will literally solve all of your connectivity issues in term of VoIP, VPN and video conferencing and oh, you can also add video gaming and video streaming to the fun part. Talk about killing all your birds with one…

How to Market Your Small, Rural Business on Social Media

By Stephen Kota / April 3, 2016

The media landscape has changed dramatically with the rise of digital content in the last decade. A Brookings Institute study shows that the number of newspapers in circulation in the United States has decreased steadily since 1980 [1]. With many local newspapers closed, small businesses must find a new way to reach potential customers. Small…

Satellite Internet Innovations from Lighthouse and Kymeta Bring Benefit to Diverse Rural Users

By Stephen Kota / April 2, 2016

Despite the well documented limitations of satellite internet, the technology has been hailed by Google and other industry leaders as having, possibly, the greatest innovative potential in rural markets. Satellite engineers Outernet and Kymeta are taking advantage of this potential, producing remarkable new products for rural dwellers. Although, last year, both Google and Facebook backed…

Kymeta, Panasonic Deal Brings Unique Antenna on Board: M-SAT Technology to Impact Commercial and Private Vessels

By Stephen Kota / March 31, 2016

We’ve moved past signal flags, but maritime communications still lag behind the wireless technologies available on the mainland. In the ever-innovating tech industry, however, where there is lack, there is potential. Last month, Bill Gates-backed metamaterials surface antenna technology (M-SAT) innovator Kymeta Corp. successfully tested a unique satellite antenna that is a fraction of the…

What China’s $22b Investment in Rural Broadband Means for Us Americans

By Stephen Kota / March 28, 2016

  The Chinese government pledged more than 140 billion yuan ($22.05 billion) to a series of rural broadband expansion projects. These projects will fill holes in the country’s Swiss cheese-like rural coverage, improve service for rural users who already have coverage, and expand e-commerce. By 2020, the government estimates that these funds will connect an…

Out with a Whimper: Verizon Stopped Throttling 3G and No One Noticed

By Stephen Kota / March 18, 2016

Subscribers on any of Verizon’s unlimited 3G plans now have truly unlimited Internet. In a recent website update, the carrier revealed that it stopped throttling 3G accounts back in June. Throttling, the practice of slowing down users’ speeds once they reach an arbitrary data limit, affected 5% of the carrier’s unlimited 3G subscribers [1]. None…

Telecom Huawei Makes Bold 5G Predictions

By Stephen Kota / March 18, 2016

Chinese telecom provider Huawei has been making 5G headlines before anyone else. Back in 2014, the provider accepted a bold partnership with Russian provider MegaFon to build a 5G network for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Then, in October of this year, it announced that field tests of its 5G technology had exceeded…

Dial-Up and Beyond: Internet Options for the Rural User

By Stephen Kota / March 18, 2016

When it comes to accessing the Web from a remote location, people tend to think in terms of limits instead of in terms of options. While it’s true that rural users are often too far from a local loop to qualify for cable or DSL, there are actually multiple other ways to sign online from…

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