The FCC intends to recharter the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force for its third and final term. The Task Force was established under the 2018 Farm Bill to provide advice to the FCC, in consultation with the USDA, on how to deploy broadband service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision agriculture.
The Commission called on the four working groups to examine the impact of connectivity in meeting the production and sustainability challenges facing agricultural and food systems. The working groups focus on:
- mapping and analyzing connectivity on agricultural lands;
- examining current and future connectivity demand for precision agriculture;
- encouraging adoption of precision agriculture and availability of high-quality jobs on connected farms; and
- accelerating broadband deployment on unserved agricultural lands.
In addition, Chairwoman Rosenworcel called for representatives from diverse and historically underrepresented communities, including socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, to apply for membership to the Task Force and its working groups. The Task Force is set to conclude its work in January 2025.
“Today’s farmers and ranchers rely on high-speed internet to make the best use of connected tools to efficiently run their businesses and meet the demand for food to sustain our communities,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “I am calling on the Task Force to look closely at the link between connectivity and agricultural sustainability, to see how best to leverage innovation to improve food production for the future.”
USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Administrator Andrew Berke called access to high-speed internet “critical” to “advancing modern farming techniques to help American farmers improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of their land.”
Interested parties are encouraged to submit nominations as soon as possible, but no later than September 11, 2023. Submit nominations to: [email protected].
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief