MCGREGOR, Minn. - The St. Paul District is part of an ongoing pilot program to increase network speeds at remote field sites. The Big Sandy Lake Dam and Recreation Area was one of six field sites across the nation that was recently upgraded to 4G wireless technology."Our internet speeds are increased compared to the hardwired network in our office. The wireless connectivity aspect of the 4G/5G pilot testing even helped keep us online a few weeks ago when the main fiber optic cable for our office was damaged during modernization efforts," said Tammy Frauenshuh, Big Sandy Lake Dam and Recreation Area site manager. "The phone system went down, but we were still able to access email and normal computer-based functions," added Frauenshuh.Leveraging cellular networks to transition field sites to 4G and eventually 5G will ensure the Corps is ready and relevant for the challenges of tomorrow, said Nick Glatz, St. Paul District information technology chief."The Corps will remain a world class organization that delivers the program by improving network connections in a world of increasing connectivity," he said. "Additionally, this program can lower costs so the Corps can continue to be a good steward of taxpayer money."Lack of infrastructure and services at many of our field sites means large scale investments of up to $350,000 in a single year for a single site, said Glatz. He added that around 200 additional field sites have been identified for potential 4G upgrades. By partnering with commercial providers and leveraging cellular networks, the Corps is positioned to benefit from the 5th generation cellular evolution as it's implemented across the country. Utilizing 4G/5G capability will revolutionize the way the Corps communicates by increasing network speeds and greatly reducing costs, said Glatz.-30-