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Breakthrough in data transmission means more access to Bible apps

Guam (MNN) — If you can’t provide someone with a physical Bible, using smartphone Bible apps or websites is a great alternative. But what if that person can’t access the internet or afford a smartphone data plan?

Of the world’s 7.2 billion people, around 4.2 billion do not have access to the internet, according to a report by the United Nations Broadband Commission. This means that more than half of the world’s population does not have access to a digitized Bible source option.

And especially for isolated communities, digital access is often the easiest way to reach them with the gospel.

However, thanks to a recent major breakthrough by Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), they were able to deliver the Bible to an unconnected smartphone using shortwave radio towers over 3,000 miles for the first time ever.

The transmission towers used to send the data packet over 3,000 miles for the very first time!  (Photo courtesy of FCBH)

The transmission towers used to send the data packet over 3,000 miles for the first time! (Photo courtesy of FCBH)

Troy Carl, Vice President of FCBH, explains: “Yesterday we were able to transmit file broadcast data packets from Guam to Thailand using shortwave frequencies, and we were able to do this in partnership with Trans WorldRadio. So that was really exciting! Basically what we’ve done is create one-way internet access, turning this tower into a super WiFi router. And it’s quite a story because it has never been done!

To put it another way, Carl wrote this description in a recent article:

Just like the one you use every day in your house, where you connect a data source (internet cable) and a power source (you plug it in) and the little antennas broadcast the internet around your house (say 500 feet) and you connect to with your phone to read/listen/see the data it transmits.

In Guam, we took a HUGE antenna (provided by Trans World Radio), connected a data source (a Bible.is app device), turned on the power (250 kw) and sent the data through the air bouncing off the ionosphere. over 3,000 MILES!

Our team in Chang Mai, Thailand hooked up to this giant router with a proprietary decompiler. Then load the Bible.is app with all its content on multiple smart phones using a simple wifi broadcaster!

This success is only the second phase of a three-step program through FCBH called Global Bible Network.

Carl shares, “About a year and a half ago we started developing a way to connect people to the Bible in their own language, even when there is no internet access. So we set up an aerospace council bringing together industry experts.

“We first use satellites to penetrate difficult areas of the world. Then we use earth towers to broadcast or relay that content around the world. And then, last and last, we use cyber-technology to distribute content phone-to-phone…. This particular test carried out successfully in Guam was the second leg of this particular worldwide Bible network.

The Bible.is app is available through Faith Comes By Hearing (Photo courtesy of FCBH)

The Bible.is app is available through Faith Comes By Hearing (Photo courtesy of FCBH)

This breakthrough is a big deal for the Great Commission.

According to The Joshua Project, 40.4% of people groups worldwide are still unreached; just over 3 billion people.

“It’s really very exciting because it means we have the potential to deliver Bible content directly to people’s mobile devices potentially using shortwave frequencies, very high frequencies. And we can do it without any kind of obstacles anywhere in the world – even 3,000 miles away – without connectivity or traditional internet access,” says Carl.

“The next step is to integrate other frequency bandwidths such as FM, AM, VHF and a variety of others. Shortwave was the most difficult. Being able to achieve this with a very minimal data airway now allows us to expand to much broader sets of frequencies. Then we build that into unique devices, maybe even a simple mobile app, that allows data to reach an individual without traditional data plans.

To complete the final phase of the Global Bible Network project, they could use funds for transmission towers and satellite systems.

And currently, if you click here to donate to the Global Bible Network initiative with FCBH, a matching donor will double your donation!

“I think the important thing to remember is that we live in incredibly exciting times where even old technology or old understanding of technology can be harnessed in whole new ways and hopefully allow us to transmit the ‘gospel to every human being on earth,’ says Karl. “Matthew 24:14 could be fulfilled even in our lifetime!”