Senators urge FCC to expand mobile broadband for farmers

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A newly formed Senate Broadband Caucus is pushing the Federal Communications Commission to prioritize mobile broadband deployment in agricultural areas.

That caucus, founded by five senators from primarily rural states, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging him to lean on the Universal Service Fund’s Mobility Fund to provide new mobile broadband in agricultural areas and preserve and upgrade mobile broadband where it’s currently available.

The caucus, recognizing that wired internet service is cost prohibitive in rural areas, is focusing its efforts on mobile internet as it seeks to close the high-speed gap.

“More than ever before, U.S. farmers and ranchers are demanding reliable, high-speed mobile broadband services. Mobility is essential for new precision agriculture technologies to deliver productivity gains and environmental sustainability,” the senators wrote. “These technologies are transforming U.S. agriculture as American farmers and ranchers seek to feed, fuel, and clothe an ever-increasing global population using limited land, water, and other resources.”

The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 26 senators.

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