5G mmWave in Truckee?

I have been reading about 5G and the upcoming spectrum auctions in the mmWave spectrum. If you have been reading posts on this blog, you will recognize I do not think that mmWave devices are appropriate for applications in rural regions of the county. In the Sierra rural region is well forested and has lots of vegetation, which can block the line of sight between the cell tower and the customer service unit. The other major shortcoming of mmWave devices is the short range, measured in meters and not miles.

Looking at one study of 28GHz coverage the coverage of several city blocks looked like this:

Antenna array at 900MHz and 28 GHz.

For 28GHz mini-cells, the radius distance in the study was 224 meters, which is about 735 feet. The 360-degree coverage would be a diameter of 448 meters across, creating a coverage area of about 2/3 of a square mile or 43 acres. I was wondering how that would look in a Sierra community and chose Truckee for a test. Using Qgis, open source GIS mapping program, I created a grid of hexagons 448 meters from edge to edge. Using Open Street Maps for a base map, I plotted the hex grid within the Truckee City limits. Here is the result:

Screenshot 2018-12-27 15.00.50
Excluding Donor Lake and other non-populated areas not requiring coverage, it would take about 700-800 mini-cells to provide 28GHz coverage within the city limits of Truckee. I do not think that Truckee will be getting full 5G mmWave coverage anytime soon, if ever.

Remote Workers Havens – Keys to Succesful Workforce

One of the economic options for rural communities with excellent highspeed connections is to promote the community as a remote worker haven. To help promote remote work, the Sacramento Business Journal has published: What are the keys to a successful remote workforce?

We surveyed over 400 business executives on how companies are approaching mobility and what’s holding them back.

Download this complimentary eBook to see the results and find out how your business can achieve greater efficiency and security.


RCRC: Rural Broadband Update

Last week, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is launching its e-Connectivity program to deliver high-speed internet in rural America. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers, and municipalities may apply through USDA’s new “ReConnect Program” for up to $600 million in loans and grants.

Projects that are eligible for ReConnect Program funding will target rural areas with insufficient broadband service. Projects funded through this initiative must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people with no broadband service or where service is slower than 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload.

USDA will make available $200 million in grants (applications are due by April 29), $200 million for loan and grant combinations (applications are due by May 29), and $200 million for low-interest loans (applications due by June 28). Projects that receive funding through the program will be required to create access speeds of up to 25 mbps download and 3 mbps upload.

The funding for the USDA’s new rural broadband program originates from the Fiscal 2018 omnibus, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. Congress passed the omnibus spending package in March 2018 with $600 million in new funding for rural broadband projects.

Source RCRC The Barbed Wire


A Neighborhood Broadband Initiative

by Russ Steele

Vast Networks, a middle-mile and last mile fiber infrastructure provider based in Fresno, CA, provides commercial fiber network services through the heart of the western Sierra Nevada foothills from Jamestown in Tuolumne County to Grass Valley and Nevada City in Nevada County. The Vast fiber network was funded through federal ARRA and state CASF grants in 2010. It is now complete and is supply high-speed Internet services on its route. However, this post is about a connection in Nevada County.

Nevada County High Speed Internet

It is hard to see on the map, but the fiber network goes down Newtown Road. I just learned that a neighborhood of seven families recently bought a connection to this commercial network. They formed a non-profit corporation and contracted with Vast for a point of presence on the Vast Network. Now all seven home have high-speed internet for personal and business use. When the fiber came down their road, they took the initiative to get connected. They did not wait for the Government to force the phone or cable company to bring them high-speed internet. We need more if this kind of initiative!

Organized in 1995 CVIN LLC (dba Vast Networks) is comprised of affiliates of independent telephone companies located in Central and Northern California. They offer a full line of network services to telecommunications companies in the area. More detail on the Vast website HERE.

Note, Vast does not provide services to individual homeowners, they service business. Thus, the needed to form a non-profit corporation. More details when they come available. Watch for updates.

Valley Vision Broadband News

AT&T Home 5G Coverage to Hit 12 Markets Before 2019

Rural Americans are Rebooting the Spirit of the Internet

FCC OK’s SpaceX to Launch 7,518 Additional Broadband Satellites 

Rural Kids Face an Internet Homework Gap

Business, Education, and Healthcare Top of Mind as Rural Broadband Expansion Inches Forward

Neighborly Launches its Broadband Accelerator into 35 Cities, Stoking Momentum for Open Access Fiber