North Dakota broadband provider MLGC is making a big investment to support the Dakota Innovation Corridor Project (ICP) aimed at advancing precision agriculture. The company is working with precision ag software provider Trilogy Networks on the initiative.

MLGC said it will invest $17 million in a 10 Gbps fiber network expansion that will connect 25 large farms to Trilogy’s cloud-based FarmGrid software. A spokesperson for Trilogy Networks said the network also will support broadband connectivity for homes and businesses in the area.

FarmGrid includes hyper-local soil and micro-local climate sensors that will be connected to the MLGC network via private 5G. Trilogy wil deploy the private 5G network and MLGC will provide spectrum in the CBRS band, along with on-the-ground support, the Trilogy spokesperson said.

Other FarmGrid capabilities include artificial intelligence (AI) and aerial imagery processing

The 25 farms are comprised of more than 150,000 acres.

“We’re moving beyond last mile connectivity to providing last acre coverage to every farm we serve,” said Tyler Kilde, MLGC’s president and CEO, in a press release.

MLGC can trace its roots back over 100 years to when it began life as Moore & Liberty Telephone and Griggs County Telephone Company.

Dakota ICP

Each farm connected to the Dakota ICP will have a “highly secure and fully integrated cloud connection that includes a farmer-controlled private data vault and marketplace that allows growers to monetize their business intelligence, making data the new crop,” a press release explains.

Trilogy Networks: Dakota*ICP

Plans for the Dakota ICP also call for Trilogy to open a Center for Agricultural Innovation in Fargo, ND.

According to Trilogy Networks’ CEO George Woodward, the Dakota ICP is “the realization of the congressional call to deploy technology to sustainably double America’s crop yields to prevent a potential global famine.” MLGC isn’t the first rural provider with whom Trilogy has made a precision ag-related deal. Trilogy also has agreements with rural wireless providers Chat Mobility and Inland Cellular.

Updated with information from a Trilogy spokesperson

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