rural broadbandThe impact that the IoT and other advanced technologies is having on agriculture is illustrated by the creation by the FCC of the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States. The FCC Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force will be established if approved by the General Services Administration.

The commission will set the group up for an initial period of two years. The agency also released a Public Notion for nominations for membership and a chairperson.

The group has six mandates that will be carried out by the task force in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, his or her designee and public and private stakeholders in the agricultural and technology fields, a press release says.

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The mandates:

  • Identify and measure current gaps in the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land;
  • Develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land, with a goal of achieving reliable capabilities on 95 percent of agricultural land in the United States by 2025;
  • Promote effective policy and regulatory solutions that encourage the adoption of broadband Internet access service on farms and ranches and promote precision agriculture;
  • Recommend specific new rules or amendments to existing rules of the Commission that the Commission should issue to achieve the goals and purposes of the policy recommendations described in the second bullet in this list;
  • Recommend specific steps that the Commission should take to obtain reliable and standardized data measurements of the availability of broadband Internet access service as may be necessary to target funding support, from future programs of the Commission dedicated to the deployment of broadband Internet access service, to unserved agricultural land in need of broadband Internet access service; and
  • Recommend specific steps that the Commission should consider to ensure that the expertise of the Secretary and available farm data are reflected in future programs of the Commission dedicated to the infrastructure deployment of broadband Internet access service and to direct available funding to unserved agricultural land where needed.

The Department of Agriculture released a report in April entitled “A Case for Rural Broadband,” that said that use of eConnectivity and next-generation precision agriculture technology on farms and ranches could create $47 billion or more in economic benefit annually in the United States.

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