A new study commissioned by the United Soybean Board (USB) reveals the lack of access to broadband in rural areas takes a significant toll on farmers and the economy. The study found 60 percent of U.S. farmers say they do not have enough connectivity to run their businesses. USB initiated the rural broadband study to better understand how and why farmers currently access the internet, and the implications that access.
Data from the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service indicates that farming contributes to nearly $133 billion of our country’s gross domestic product. Based on USB’s rural broadband survey, the lack of connectivity negatively impacts farmers responsible for $80 billion of gross domestic product. The survey also found 78 percent of farmers do not have a choice in internet service providers, and 60 percent of farmers say their service is too slow, and often rely on cell signals. Meanwhile, 40 percent of farmers say they have fixed internet connections, while others rely on satellite connections.