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Where Does Rural America Come Up Short?

Listen Here: Agribusiness Matters 7-18-16

by Ken Root and Whitney Flach

Maybe you can think of several infrastructure sectors, roads, bridges, but the newest highway is the Internet and Broadband coverage is definitely weak across the broad open spaces of our country.

There is a move, championed by Wisconsin’s two United States Senators that may shrink that inequity with urban dwellers and make it where your smart phone will work in the middle of nowhere.

Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson are both asking the Federal Communications Commission to expand mobile broadband coverage to rural areas.

The Senators are asking the commission to use money from the mobility fund to improve broadband service. Senator Johnson says the mobility fund is part of the Universal Service fund that is charged on cell phone bills and was first used to expand telephone access.             

Johnson believes it’s important to find ways to expand broadband access especially for farmers using precision agriculture technologies…tape

“Farmer’s use GPS systems on their farm equipment. It is very important for farm areas. So, we are pushing FCC to utilize their authorities. It’s the big cities that get all of the attention, and the rural constituents get ignored.”

Senators Johnson and Baldwin, joined 24 other Senators in sending a letter to FCC Chairman Wheeler asking for the mobile broadband expansion.

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