High Costs of Mobile Data

Since we went from analog to digital television and those bands were moved into cellular data bandwidth bands, the costs still remain extremely high and the coverage is adequate to non-existent in rural areas.  Let’s take for random example AT&T’s Wireless Internet costs for commercial uses.  It is about $100/5GB of bandwidth.  This is extremely expensive per byte for high bandwidth applications away from the main office.  Rural areas have 3G or 2G or no G service.  Here is the 2012 map comparing Verizon and AT&T’s LTE map.  You can see it is all around major urban areas and it will take many years to get that bandwidth in rural areas.  This is not even taking into account local blockages that reduce or eliminate connectivity in many rural areas due to trees, buildings, hills, and other topological features.

We have one infrastructure bill working its way through Congress, what we need is a government investment bill like the rural electrification bill last century to expand rural wireless bandwidth options.  It needs to be open to current major players and also minor local and regional players who have a better feel for their local markets.  More rural bandwidth will move data transfer to higher levels for more detailed meteorological reports and data for GIS/Geomatics datasets.  If we can do it in the US, we can do it across the world for economic development.


About Chuck Schoeneberger

Former forecaster at Meridian Environmental Technologies Inc (now a Interis Company), with a background in GIS and LiDAR, with other stints at GeoSpatial Services of Winona, MN and Aerometric (Now Quantum Spatial) of Sheboygan, WI. He is a weather technologist for public storm safety from a local to international level. LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=25048141&trk=tab_pro His views are his own and not of his employer.
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