Unwired Broadband fights California Rural Internet Issues

Unwired Broadband fights California Rural Internet Issues

California Ag Today's Corryn La Rue spoke with Unwired Broadband’s Strategic Account Manager Mark Peterson at the World Ag Expo this week, and he says there’s been a surge in demand for rural connectivity.

“There’s more IP based technology that’s going into the field, even with COVID there’s a lot of people needing to increase their bandwidth, or get new connections with workers that are working remotely or even the kids that are going to school and doing online learning. That was really big. We saw a huge surge in demand during that period, and its continuing. I know there’s more… technologies out in the field. We’re seeing more and more demand of that service.”

“We’ve got a great mix of business and residential customers, some of the largest ag companies in the world are located in the central valley, and many of them are our customers. We even have some customers outside of the rural areas that are using us as a secondary connection. They may have a fiber connection, in their main office for example, but their using us a secondary connection for disaster recovery. So that’s another piece of our business that seems to be growing as well, customers looking for that added insurance because internet is really mission critical to businesses these days.”

Unwired Broadband currently serves communities from Bakersfield to Stockton and Peterson says it continues to expand.

According to the California Interactive Broadband Map, most of the state’s agriculture counties currently have internet speeds of less than 25 megabits per second. All Connect says with those speeds, customers may experience buffering when streaming video, difficulty connecting multiple devices, and other internet connectivity issues. That means while the agriculture industry implements more technology into modern practices, rural California still struggles to access high speed internet.

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