FCC Announces New Task Force Focused on Connecting American Farms and Ranches

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the formation of a new task force dedicated to advising the Commission on policies aimed at delivering connectivity so that American agriculture producers can use and benefit from precision agriculture. The task force, which stems from the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land.

“As I’ve traveled the country, I’ve seen the amazing efficiencies, innovations, and improvements that high-speed Internet brings to today’s farms and ranches,” said Chairman Pai. “I’ve met the operator of a Kansas feedlot using fiber and wireless connectivity to monitor every cow’s unique in-take. I’ve met an Idaho farmer using everything from an LTE-based soil analysis app to drones to improve productivity and reduce costs on his potato farm. And I’ve seen other farms and ranches from Virginia to California that are using technology to put more and better food on our tables. This is the present and the future of American agriculture, and we must do whatever we can to support these producers and enhance precision agriculture.”

Chairman Pai added, “I want to thank Secretary Perdue and his team for focusing on this area, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Agriculture as we launch this task force.”

Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States

The new federal advisory committee, formally called the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United Sates, will consult with the Department of Agriculture and collaborate with public and private stakeholders in the agriculture and technology fields. Federal advisory committees have an important role in providing agencies like the FCC with outside, expert advice on policy matters.

FCC Seeking Nominations

The FCC is seeking nominations for participation on this 15-member task force that will include agricultural producers, along with representatives of Tribal agriculture, internet service providers, the electric cooperative industry, the satellite industry, precision agriculture equipment manufacturers, state and local governments, and representatives with relevant expertise in broadband network data collection, geospatial analysis, and coverage mapping.




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