Rural Broadband Ramp Up
Access to Broadband is still a big issue in agriculture, and farmers and ranchers have been calling for help on the issue for years.
Over 31 percent of rural Americans do not have access to broadband at home — a staggering amount when compared to the four percent of urban Americans who can’t get access.
Lawmakers continue to hear bills this year designed to ramp up access to broadband internet.
Johnathan Hladik is with the Center for Rural Affairs.
"There is a lot of exciting work happening within agriculture that takes advantage of new and cutting-edge technologies to improve yields," Hladik said. "When you have broadband out to some of these farms, it allows farmers to do a better job."
And RJ Karney with the American Farm Bureau explains, rural broadband is no longer a luxury.
“For precision agricultural purposes, farmers and ranchers want to be more efficient, economical and responsive to environmental needs. In order to do so, they need connectivity in their farmlands and out in their ranchlands, as well. For rural communities, they need access to modern technologies for education purposes, distance learning, for healthcare purposes with telemedicine, also for public safety and entrepreneurship.”
Meanwhile - the USDA has been investing in rural telecommunications infrastructure, and has been spending more than $700 million per year for modern broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities.