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News & Press: In the Media

Microcell Bidders Pitch Blimps for Rural Cellphone Coverage Woes

Wednesday, February 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture

 When Vermont asked for “creative solutions” in an August request for proposals to expand cell coverage to rural corners of the state, at least one company came through.

The Department of Public Service revealed that one of the two bids for the $900,000 project would deploy blimps across the state to direct cell signals to hard-to-reach places.

The vendor behind that proposal, according to Clay Purvis, the director of telecoms and connectivity, has pitched “a novel solution that would involve civilian application of aerostat technology along the lines of equipment already in use by the military.”

Aerostats can range from balloons to airships. They are filled with gas that is lighter than air, allowing them to remain floating.

Purvis provided an update of the microcell bids to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. In a written statement, he said both bidders have a “proven track records of deploying wireless networks,” but did not name them or give details of the confidential proposals.

Read more in VTDigger.

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