Sen. Roger Wicker discusses the importance of rural internet connectivity.
Ron Maxey / Commercial Appeal

Forget bucket trucks, laptops; drones, software make antenna placement simple

A recent Mississippi State engineering graduate is leading a team of other young alumni and current MSU students in work that could mean big improvements for internet access in rural areas of the U.S. and has the potential to make a global impact.

About half of the world’s population does not have internet, and running fiber is not economically feasible in most rural areas. However, WISPr Systems, a new company born at MSU and now valued at about $2 million, could help make internet access in rural areas much more practical and affordable.

Conor Ferguson and his associates have utilized MSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach in the College of Business, which offers resources and a network of business experts who have coached the company through the start-up process.

WISPr Systems builds advanced automation tools for wireless internet service providers that eliminate the cost-intensive process of making the most effective use of antenna placement. Until now, when establishing internet service for a new customer, multiple technicians have had to climb into bucket trucks for an awkward balancing act of juggling a laptop and large antenna arrays for determining the best placement to gain the best signals.

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