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Want Next Generation Precision Agriculture? You’ll Need Rural Broadband.

The USDA has been investing in rural telecommunications infrastructure for decades. But approximately 80 percent of the American households who lack reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet access are in rural areas.

Current USDA telecommunication programs offer more than $700 million per year for loans and grants to defer the costs of the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in eligible rural areas. More funding was added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (HR 1625), the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2018, which appropriated $600 million for the USDA’s e-Connectivity pilot, which is meant to expedite loans and grants for rural broadband buildout.

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