RuralReach was created in 2002 in rural Western Washtenaw County by its founder to provide the Internet service he required to support his job as a Network Support Engineer for Hewlett-Packard Corporation.
It soon became apparent that he was in a position to provide better Internet connectivity for his neighbors wirelessly than the poor copper phone lines in the area.
Through agreements with local farmers he was able to start mounting wireless access points on grain stacks and silos in the area, and was soon able to provide a staggering 768kb of Internet bandwidth to surrounding families -far out performing the 26.4kb max available using dial-up at that time. All without imposing costly or inconvenient data caps on customers.
Moving forward and as demand grew and wireless technologies improved so did RuralReach. Those initial 2 “towers” eventually became more than 40 in number with additional ones added all the time. RuralReach now delivers services to customers in Washtenaw, Jackson, and Lenawee Counties with more expansion in sight.
Far from the 768kb offering we started with, RuralReach now offers bandwidth packages of 30 Mb or better in some areas - with still no data caps anywhere.
With RuralReach joining forces with IVSCOMM in early 2017 we were able to invest heavily in LTE, licensed backhaul, and other technologies to increase available bandwidth and penetrate foliage better and more affordably for our customers.
As we continue to grow we have trained and added additional installers and certified climbers to support our expanding customer base. We are also investigating new ways to assist our underserved neighbors using hybrid wireless-fiber networks as well as 5G and mesh technologies.
We are also working with local and federal government officials to highlight the importance of providing the necessary funding and additional wireless spectrum needed to provide Internet connectivity parity with those folks who live in town.