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Spotlight: Amish Merchant Sells Toys Via Satellite

By | February 2, 2004

      Jacob King, a 19-year-old man living in rural Abingdon, Va., is among the new breed of small businessmen who are selling merchandise with the aid of satellite Internet links.

      King was raised Amish and generally still follows the religion’s tradition of not connecting his home with phone lines or electricity. However, he does use a cell phone and occasionally operates a generator to power a laptop computer via satellite. Both modern conveniences help King to operate his business of selling Amish toys. King uses StarBand satellite equipment for his broadband connection.

      Don Abelson, chief of the International Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), described King’s use of satellite services as a perfect example of how the technology is ideal for serving people in rural areas where DSL and cable service are not available. King was featured via a satellite video connection during a one-day forum last week held by the FCC to focus attention on the use of satellites to serve rural communities. The handmade toys sold by King are approximately 5 inches x 7 inches in size and include cedar chests, with or without a lock; bulldozers; airplanes; five-car trains; ladders; brainteaser puzzles; and log cabin banks. A brief description of his business is available on a Web site called, under a category called business listings that identifies his venture, Rivercraft Crafts. –Paul Dykewicz

      (Jacob King, Riverside Crafts, 276-608-2430)

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