The Next Revolution In Farming Is a Decent Internet Connection

Illustration for article titled The Next Revolution In Farming Is a Decent Internet Connection

The beeps and clicks of dial-up web service are (mercifully) a long-gone memory for most city-dwellers, but for many rural residents that aural static is still a regular part of the ritual of logging on. The service remains incredibly slow—and that tedious pace is becoming a major problem for farmers bringing their businesses into the digital age.

Today’s farmers depend on the internet; online livestock auctions, up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, and even some healthy, social-media-assisted self-promotion play a major role in running these complex operations and keeping up with the pace of their peers.

It might be a while until the “broadband revolution” reaches those outside city limits, but the issue is gaining major traction everywhere from the cyborg balloons of Google’s ambitious Loon Project, to lobbyist organizations backed by telecom companies, to wireless advocates, straight on to the White House. Until then, here’s hoping there are no outages when anyone's bidding on bulls or Boer goats. [Modern Farmer]

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Illustration for article titled The Next Revolution In Farming Is a Decent Internet Connection

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DISCUSSION

As someone who lives in Farm Country, I can tell you this is a little......off.

Many rural telcos now offer DSL, I personally can get up to 20mb, and the nearest town for me is 7 miles away. Nearly all the farmers around here have either DSL, or satellite for internet, with the exception of one old farmer around here that refuses to even get a computer.

Over the last few years, most Rural telcos have put plenty of money into country systems. At least here in the midwest, access to broadband is pretty good.

Now what you should really look at is cost. It is extremely expensive compared to city options. My 20mb has a 150 gb cap for the month, and I pay $180 for it, including home phone. That isn't with tv or anything else. Just phone and DSL. THat is why you have slow adoption rates, not the scarcity of broadband itself.

So, look at the rates, and see that those who still use dial up do usually have options, they are just very pricey options and farmers are cheap.