Monday, January 29, 2018

Farmers, Ranchers Face Broadband Gap Too

Farmers need broadband connectivity to more precisely water crops and use drones to monitor fields. Just like automakers are developing autonomous vehicles, so too, are manufacturers of tractors and other farm equipment, to help farmers work more efficiently. Studies estimate that precision agriculture technologies could reduce operation costs by up to 25 dollars per acre and increase farm yields by up to 70 percent by 2050.

That’s why Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Steve Daines (R-MT) and John Tester (D-MT) and Representatives Latta (R-OH) and Loebsack (D-IA) introduced companion bills last week titled the “Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018.” S. 2343 and H.R. 4881 direct the FCC to create a task force within a year to determine why there’s a broadband gap on cropland and ranchland and develop policy recommendations to address the disparity. The FCC would work with the USDA and other federal agencies on the project.  Continue Reading

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