Rural broadband is a critical pathway to global markets for agriculture and other industries. Farmers and ranchers depend on broadband just as they do highways, railways and waterways.
Most Americans take broadband for granted and while the gap is closing, many rural Americans still lack broadband access compared to urban Americans, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Current broadband coverage maps are inadequate because they rely on census block data to determine coverage. Census blocks are too large in rural and remote locations to accurately determine need. If even one household in each census block is reported by a provider as being served, then the entire block is considered served.
Farmers need increased mobile broadband coverage to be more efficient, economical and environmentally sustainable. Broadband connectivity allows farmers and ranchers to use cloud-connected equipment that indicates soil conditions, weather and the positioning of equipment. This key information not only helps them make data-driven business decisions, but it also helps improve sustainability by allowing farmers to very specifically target their water, fertilizer and crop protection use and plant seeds to achieve optimal yield.
Ask your members of Congress to support:
- H.R. 3369, the Broadband for Rural America Act. This legislation will provide additional investments in USDA rural broadband programs while prioritizing rural areas most underserved.
- S. 1695, the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility (EBRIDGE) Act. This legislation removes hurdles for broadband projects, including difficult last-mile efforts that often delay rural broadband deployment.
- The House passed H.R. 3193, the EBRIDGE Act, in November 2021.
Learn more here about the issue here: Rural Broadband
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