AgriTalk: Dialing In Rural America

June 12, 2018 03:27 PM
Chip Flory starts Tuesday's show talking dairy with Mike Opperman and Jim Dickrell of Farm Journal's Milk, FCC Commissioner Brenden Carr calls in to talk about rural broadband, and Rich Posson looks at the economy.

Modern farmers have a lot of advantages, and most of those are based around the new technology at their fingertips and the information that technology can help gather. But at what point does that information become moot without reliable broadband?

That is the question the FCC is trying to solve, and they are actively taking steps to help rural American be more connected than ever. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr joined AgriTalk on Tuesday and told host Chip Flory that it’s still going to be some time.

“When you look at 5G in particular, 2020 is a number that a lot of people like to use,” said Carr. “Right now there is work every single day to bring fiber and fixed wireless to more rural communities.”

Carr said that there is a lot of new technology on the horizon, and it will likely be a combination of resources that helps them reach their goal.

“It costs about $30k per square mile to lay down fiber, with less than one person per square mile in some places” said Carr. “It would take a long time to recover that investment. There are new generations of satellite technologies, there are new small mom and pop providers, and then there is 5G…the next generation of wireless connectivity.”

He said the FCC is working with internet providers on a new coverage map so they can go about assessing what areas need the most attention.

In January the president signed a pair of executive orders, which were designed to make it easier to develop high speed internet in rural areas.

Also on Tuesday’s AgriTalk, Farm Journal’s Milk’s Jim Dickrell and Mike Opperman joined Flory to talk about dairy markets and what effect trade talks are having on them.

Catch The Full AgriTalk Conversation Below By Clicking On The Player


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