We know 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.
While most Americans take broadband for granted, 26.4 percent of rural Americans lack broadband access compared to only 1 percent of urban Americans, according to the Federal Communications Commission. However, an asterisk must be used alongside these figures because the current data and maps used to assess broadband coverage are flawed and fail to accurately determine broadband access, and we learned that first hand in Kansas when members helped us challenge the legitimacy of coverage maps from various cellular carriers.
Agriculture requires mobile broadband coverage, which allows farmers to be more efficient, economical and environmentally responsible. Broadband connectivity allows farmers and ranchers to make data-driven business decisions and improves sustainability by allowing farmers to apply less water, protect soil health, plant seeds to achieve optimal yield and reduce environmental impact.
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 and H.R. 3193, 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.
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