FCC Chairman Pai Forms Precision Agriculture Task Force
The Federal Communications Commission announces the formation of a new federal advisory committee, the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force or Task Force), upon approval by the General Services Administration (GSA). The Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force will perform duties and will submit reports. The FCC seeks nominations for membership on and a Chairperson to the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force. The FCC intends to establish the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force for an initial period of two (2) years. Nominations for membership to the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force should be submitted to the FCC no later than July 17, 2019.
In consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, or a designee of the Secretary, and in collaboration with public and private stakeholders in the agriculture and technology fields, the Task Force will:
- identify and measure current gaps in the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land;
- develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land, with a goal of achieving reliable capabilities on 95 percent of agricultural land in the United States by 2025;
- promote effective policy and regulatory solutions that encourage the adoption of broadband Internet access service on farms and ranches and promote precision agriculture;
- recommend specific new rules or amendments to existing rules of the Commission that the Commission should issue to achieve the goals and purposes of the policy recommendations described in the second bullet in this list;
- recommend specific steps that the Commission should take to obtain reliable and standardized data measurements of the availability of broadband Internet access service as may be necessary to target funding support, from future programs of the FCC dedicated to the deployment of broadband Internet access service, to unserved agricultural land in need of broadband Internet access service; and
- recommend specific steps that the Commission should consider to ensure that the expertise of the Secretary and available farm data are reflected in future programs of the Commission dedicated to the infrastructure deployment of broadband Internet access service and to direct available funding to unserved agricultural land where needed.
In addition, not later than one (1) year after the date on which the FCC officially establishes the Task Force, and annually thereafter, the Task Force will submit to the FCC Chairman a report, which shall be made public, that details:
- the status of fixed and mobile broadband Internet access service coverage of agricultural land;
- the projected future connectivity needs of agricultural operations, farmers, and ranchers; and
- the steps being taken to accurately measure the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land and the limitations of current, as of the date of the report, measurement processes.
FCC Announces Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force, Seeks Applications Chairman Pai Announces New Task Force Focused On Connecting American Farms And Ranches (Press release)