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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gaps in 4G network hinder high-tech agriculture; FCC prepares to release $500 million to improve coverage

Gaps in 4G network hinder high-tech agriculture; FCC prepares to release $500 million to improve coverage: Vineyard management consultant Alan Campbell set out to fine-tune irrigation across the Pacific Northwest with a system that relays soil-moisture data from the field to the computing cloud and back to the grower in real time.

His company, SmartVineyard, is trying to make it easy for wine-grape producers, plus other crop growers, to practice precision irrigation, but the system won’t work without a high-speed, or 4G, cellular connection.

As anyone who travels outside the Willamette Valley knows, there are still plenty of gaps in the high-speed network, and Campbell said that was a concern when he started the Portland-based business three years ago.