- Member Impact
- Rural Connect
Everywhere you look and consumers and everyday business operations are feeling the effect of the rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT). Homes and small businesses are installing smart thermostats and other convenient wireless devices following up on the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) trend industrial users began years earlier. Rural electric and telco providers have a resource in NRTC to prepare for wireless automation.
One research firm at the beginning of 2016 estimated that about a quarter of businesses in the United States were employing some form of IoT technology and predicted that the percentage could be about 50 percent by the end of the year. IoT business clearly is exploding. Many municipalities, including rural towns, are beginning to look at the concept of “smart cities” – central wireless control of street lights, traffic lights, utilities, public buildings and many other assets. And yet, in spite of the rapid growth, there are few IoT/M2M technical standards or well-tested business models. NRTC can help its members get past the potential confusion.
NRTC has a flexible variety of wholesale data packages to meet consumer’s and businesses’ IoT goals. Applications including workforce management solutions, advanced vehicle location, monitoring and fleet management are part of the mobile repertoire. Functions as simple as basic text messaging are available, if that’s what the consumer seeks. NRTC is always ready to fill members' wireless needs.
Wireless automation is an important part of NRTC’s smart communications plan. Smart grid projects allow cooperatives to keep track of the entire generation, transmission and distribution chain. Some NRTC members use the smart grid infrastructure to support industrial/agricultural applications, such as remote control of heavy machinery or irrigation systems. NRTC works with several radio manufacturers providing devices on licensed and unlicensed bands to support all the possible vital wireless links. NRTC experts can assist with tower siting and construction and complete wireless network planning.
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