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|Senior Policy Advisor
|COWs COLTs Aerostats for Emergency Distance Learning and Telemedicine Broadband Connectivity in Rural Areas
|This white paper describes COWs (Cell-on-Wheels), COLTs (Cell-on-Light Trucks), and Aerostats (CCAs) used to provide cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity in areas without 4G. They are used to provide emergency communications during catastrophic events such as fighting forest fires in rural areas, and in aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods. In California there have been a series of state-level broadband meetings focused on the need to provide an immediate response to fill the distance learning and telemedicine broadband access gaps to unserved rural households sheltering in place during the COVID-19 crisis. Some telecommunications providers and public libraries are offering free Wi-Fi hotspots with 4G service to take home; however, 4G hotspots only work in areas with cellular broadband service.