By Gil Gullickson
Published by Successful Farming on 7/20/2018
Broadband Boost is Needed:
Lack of rural broadband costs rural areas big bucks. Darrington Seward, who’s a manager for the Seward & Son Planting Company in Louise, Mississippi, noted in 2016 U.S. Senate testimony that broadband disruptions during planting can lead to improper seeding prescriptions or missed planting windows. In 2016, he estimated such events could cost the farm 5 bushels lost per acre, or $20,000 per day of lost revenue.
That’s something that the 37% of rural residents face who don’t have adequate or any broadband service, says Brian Cavey, CoBank’s senior vice president of government affairs.
Much confusion exists about which rural areas are broadband-deficient. The Federal Communications Commission uses a color-coded map showing which areas are eligible for federal broadband support. In reality, the map misses areas that could be eligible for federal funding, says Steve Berry, chief executive officer of the Competitive Carriers Association, which advocates for competitive wireless carriers and stakeholders.
This article by Gil Gullickson lists farming, education, businesses, broadband access, and more to the reasons people stay or leave rural areas. To view the full article, click here.
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