Minnesota Public Radio: Wireless internet to the rescue? New tech could help close connectivity gap

EXCERPT: “On a windswept hill near the town of Slayton in southwest Minnesota, Terry Nelson nods toward a steel communications tower. He points to a spot high above the ground. ‘We have our equipment about 250 feet up on top the tower,’ he said. That equipment is part of the area’s fixed wireless internet service. Here’s how it works: A radio signal — instead of the more traditional fiber-optic cable line — delivers a high-speed internet link to area homes. Woodstock Communications built the system. Google stunned the internet world in 2016 by investing in wireless internet technology and scaling back on its plans to connect customers with fiber optic lines. Wireless advocates like Nelson, Woodstock Communications’ vice president and general manager, say Minnesota should do the same. ‘We see this as the solution,’ he said. Nelson’s company has built a wireless system using more than a dozen towers to cover most of two southwestern Minnesota counties. Other companies are doing the same in other parts of the state. Most state dollars still go to fiber-optic projects, but Nelson and other players in the wireless industry say they’re ready to take on more of the funding pie.” FULLSTORY: http://bit.ly/2EZ3Kft