Rural Broadband (an offshoot of Rural Computing) was started by Richard Dix in 2011 and is based on the family farm at Heacham in West Norfolk. Richard trained at Easton College during the late 80’s just as the early computer management systems were introduced on to farms. He was also involved in early on farm trials of computerised sow feeding using transponders on collars, giving him an early introduction to agri-tech.
The main service areas in which Rural Broadband work are:
Communication and internet on remote sites (including homes and businesses) by 4G network or satellite.
Remote device monitoring and control (IOT) using a mix of low use data sims on GPRS, 3G or 4G, or using SMS/Text messaging.
4G networks are spreading over the UK and along with this increase of coverage, data costs are reducing. Rural Broadband work with the main UK mobile networks in supplying data and SMS sims ideal for agri-tech. From a data sim with a few megabytes of data to large gigabyte plans and SMS only sims.
We are still in an era of not having fast internet by mobile sim everywhere in the UK. In these situations, satellite works well, and can be easily set up (with a farmer’s toolkit and built in tools) and moved from site to site. Speeds of up to 30Mbps and 6Mbps upload are achievable now and by 2019 we could be looking at 100Mbps or more from new European satellite launches.
As satellite and mobile technology moves on, Rural Broadband stays ahead of others by working with the very latest technology and the best technology partners for their agri-tech connectivity projects. These currently include water level and sunlight level monitoring for potato crops as well as solar farm monitoring and remote meter reading. This year Rural Broadband hope to add LoRaWan (farm wide) networking to the technologies offered, and they are seeking partners in this area.
Other services provided by the company include dealing with the slow internet and lack of it, in some homes, businesses and farms. The company understands the problems of living and working in the country side, with the benefits of clean air and the problems of communication. Unlike many other communications companies Rural Broadband supply a range of high grade mobile and satellite solutions so that we can provide the customer specifically with their needs rather than just one size fits all.
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