Arizona General Communications is a new company designed to bridge the wireless gap between genealogy and the smart phone industry. Our aim is to provide the technological backbone to assist smart phone developers to create more responsible and ethical genealogy programs. We are a conglomorate of over 1,500 businesses who seek to learn more about the study of genealogy as it pertains to the cell phone industry. Since 1997, we have been at the forefront of the technological broadband spectrum of what is capable when using a smart phone to study genealogy.
Prior to 1997, the limited amount of bandwidth we had on our cell phones prevented us from merging the two disciplines together. Now that smart phones are running at near broadband speeds, we can more efficiently pursue our disciplines.
Arizona for the most part is a remote country. It is not like Los Angeles, where miles upon miles of suburbia await. There are cities, then nothing but desert and cactus. This made our efforts more challenging due to the fact that the cellular signal provided by our cell phone towers would not and could not reach across vast expanses of the Arizonan desert. We had to rely upon Satellite communications in order to reach the more remote outposts of the Arizona desert.
For example, let’s take the city of Tombstone, Arizona. The Wyatt Earp family in the 1800’s wanted to study their family genealogy. But due to the limited amount of metered bandwidth on wired internet connections, it was near impossible to get an internet signal, even in the year 2000. So we came in and assessed the problem. It was clear what had to be done: We would need to build several microwave towers throughout the Sonora desert of Arizona in order for the cell phone signal to reach the city of Tombstone. The project would be broken down into 3 phases:
- 1. Survey of the desert landscape and selection of spots best suited for cell phone towers
2. Negotiations with the various ranchers and land owners whose property we would be building the towers on
3. Seeking Federal funding via our Congressman and Senators (concurrent with #1 in some cases)
4. Actual construction of cell phone towers at strategic locations throughout the desert.
As the project near maturation in 2013, we could see how the genealogy aspect would work into the project: As time went on, more and more historical evidence was uncovered regarding the past family life of Wyatt Earp. It was thanks to the internet and cell phone access that we provided, that the Earp family was finally able to trace their wild wild west ancestors.
We ran into some issues early on in the project where local ranchers refused to honor the right-of-way-access granted by the original agreement. In several instances, local sheriffs had to be called out to calm the land owners and ensure safe passage for our crews to build the previously negotiated cell phone towers on their property.
The project had to be mindful of the mating and nesting habits of the Sonora Desert Tortoise. It was placed on the Federal list of endangered species mid way throughout the project. We needed to hire a biologist to retrace our steps and ensure that our footprint in the desert would not harm the mating or nesting abilities of the tortoise.
Once the project had been successfully completed in 2015, we saw a surge in the ability for our historians to research family history in Arizona. This is in thanks part to the new cell phone towers that were constructed and the internet access that was made possible by the 4GLTE speeds of the broad band network.