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Why rural areas can't catch a break on speedy broadband

By: Marguerite Readon - CNET

(October 23, 2018) - When Galen Manners was offered a promotion at his job, he didn't want to relocate to the big city from his family in rural Kansas, where he helped his two brothers run their 2,000-acre farm in his spare time.

His employer gave him the option to work from home. But there was one problem. There was no high-speed internet access to remotely connect him to the company's headquarters, more than 300 miles away in Little Rock, Arkansas. So Manners, who had worked for a small wireless provider, built his own broadband network.

"I networked cell towers for a living, so I figured I could do the same thing for myself," he said.

Manners cobbled together his network using a dedicated connection from a phone company in the closest "city": Parsons, Kansas, population 9,000. He rented rooftop space on an eight-story building, one of the tallest in town, and engineered a private wireless network using a cell tower he had erected on his family's farm.

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