New bill would create taskforce, improve broadband

A new bipartisan bill introduced in the House and Senate this week would help advance connectivity and precision agriculture in rural America.

The Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 would require the Federal Communications Commission to form a task force to address gaps in broadband access. The goal is to have reliable service on 95 percent of US cropland and ranchland by 2025.

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Roger Wicker, and Representatives Bob Latta and Dave Loebsack introduced the legislation.

Ag groups say that the bill will help farmers use precision agriculture to improve yields and their bottom line.

Nick Tindall, chair of the Agricultural Broadband Coalition, says it creates a clear mandate for the FCC to work with the USDA to update rural infrastructure.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says improving broadband will also lower environmental impact and maximize profit for farmers and ranchers.

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