MANNING, Iowa- Last week Governor Terry Branstad recognized the Carroll County town of Manning as the first town in Iowa under 5,000 population as a Certified Connected Community. That mean’s the town provides for residents and businesses high speed internet access of 10 megabits per second download. “Like the rest of Iowa, and the nation, the internet is a major portion of doing business anymore,” said Ron Reischl, who serves as President of the Main Street Manning Board of Directors. “It’s one of the must-haves anymore.” Reischl said all businesses in town use the community-based broadband service. “It’s key for growth of rural America, it really expands our marketplace,” said Reischl.
The Governor has named his statewide campaign to improve high-speed internet as “Connect Every Acre.” For Puck Custom Enterprises, south of Manning, the “Every Acre” part is very important. The company uses broadband cell service to operate liquid manure pumps for customers with hogs, cattle or dairy operations. The system can be controlled by one person, who may access the web via cell service from a tractor. The pumps operate on remote farms where often the only broadband internet is via cell service.
Jeff Blum is the Operations Manager for Puck Enterprises. He said 5 years ago crews counted on multiple people talking via FM radios to control a system. Now, it can be done with just one person. “One operator from the tractor cab can see everything,” said Blum. “He can control the entire system locally there from the tractor cab.”
“Every unit that pumps is equipped with a cellular modem, so that pump is able to communicate to the internet,” said Blum. He said in the future he expects to see more networks to help systems communicate with the internet, or local systems to help machines talk to one another.
Puck Custom Enterprise operates it’s manufacturing and corporate offices four miles south of the town of Manning. For conventional broadband, a tower beams the internet from Manning, to the company’s complex.