SDN Blog

Leading-edge automation technology comes to rural S.D.

Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 in In The News , Member Communities

Blog written by

Clear2there Smart Farm Solution

Customers of independent phone companies across South Dakota are entering a cool, new era of opportunities in telecommunications.

An extensive line of automation products and services for homes, farms, businesses and home care are becoming available to help South Dakotans live and work safer, more efficiently and more conveniently.

You might say the Internet of Things is advancing in towns, farms and businesses served by many of SDN Communications’ member companies, which serve 80 percent of South Dakota’s land mass.

The companies that own SDN already provide phone, Internet, cable TV and related services to their customers. They are adding a wide array of smart-premise and video-monitoring services through a new agreement with Clear2there, a company based in Oklahoma and Florida that works nationally with distribution partners, such as SDN member companies.

Clear2there is an innovative provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) services, video surveillance equipment, sensors and related devices for uses in homes, businesses, government offices and other places.

Craig Steen, president and CEO of Clear2there, expects home-automation products to be especially popular in South Dakota because of the rural and residential nature of the areas being served. However, potential uses also abound for farms and ranches.

The new cloud-based services that are becoming available to South Dakotans are designed overall to make life better, Steen says.

Improving lives in many ways

“That’s what it’s all about in the home-automation world: quality of life,” Steen says. “We’re bringing quality of life to things that occur in our everyday lives.”

For example, homeowners or business managers no longer have to enter dark buildings. They can control the lights and even the locks through a personalized app on their mobile device.

Steen outlined several practical scenarios in which Clear2there’s innovative, high-tech products could be used in homes or businesses:

  • A homeowner would no longer have to waste hours at home waiting, for example, for a plumber to arrive. The plumber could call the homeowner upon arrival, and the homeowner could remotely open the door. Another option would be to provide the plumber with a one-time entry code to get into the house. Then, the homeowner also could monitor the plumber remotely on a mobile device with images from surveillance cameras. 
  • Surveillance systems also could be used by parents to remotely check on when their children get home from school. They also could check to see who’s with the children and what they’re doing. Surveillance systems also could be designed to monitor the well-being of an aging parent who lives alone. Medical equipment also monitored.
  • Farmers could use sensors to remotely monitor and control factors such as the amount of grain in bins, the temperature inside livestock confinement facilities, and the amount of water used in irrigation. A monitoring system also could be programmed to send out alerts to farm operators or their service providers. If, for example, a fuel storage tank begins to run low, a notice automatically could be sent to a fuel provider to request a delivery.

The possibilities for business and home use are endless.

“All of this wouldn’t be possible in the Internet of Things if we didn’t have one really important service, and that’s broadband connectivity,” Steen says.

Broadband connectivity is where SDN and its members fit in. SDN provides the connectivity to link Clear2there’s secure data center to the SDN members that provide the final connection and staff contact with customers.

SDN and its members have a network of more than 30,000 miles of fiber that connects South Dakotans and residents of neighboring states with leading-edge technology from companies such as Clear2there.

Each local company in SDN’s network will customize their service offerings to fit the needs of customers in towns and rural areas in the market.

SDN affiliates’ connection with Clear2there potentially expands service offerings to the newest frontiers of telecommunications technology.


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