A new FCC study on the impacts of rural broadband on U.S. farming productivity found that increased broadband service has a “statistically significant” effect on higher crop yields and lower costs for fertilizer, fuel, and seed. According to the study, a 1% increase in the number of 25Mbps/3Mbps or better subscribers per 1,000 households correlated with a 3.6% increase in corn yields per acre, while a 1% increase in the number of 10Mbps/.768Mbps connections per 1,000 households associated with a 2.4% decrease in a farm’s operating expenses.
The FCC attributes this productivity boost and cost savings to precision agriculture and other high-tech tools that come with access to high-speed internet.
“A constant theme I’ve heard is the boost in productivity that comes with the use of precision agriculture and other broadband-based technologies. This paper confirms these anecdotes and underscores the importance of the Commission’s top priority of expanding broadband access in rural and underserved areas.” – FCC Chairman Ajit Pai