Senators Want USF Mobility Fund to Target Croplands

A bi-partisan group of 26 senators is asking the Federal Communications Commission to establish new parameters for a Universal Service Fund mobility fund that would target broadband availability in croplands “or some other geographic measurement.” The goal would be to better support precision agriculture technology aimed at enhancing productivity and environmental sustainability. “These technologies are transforming US agriculture as American farmers and ranchers seek to feed, fuel and clothe an ever-increasing global population using limited land, water and other resources,” wrote the senators in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

. The cropland or other geographic measurement would be in addition to another metric that has been used in targeting Universal Service Fund support for mobile services — road miles. The letter, spearheaded by Sens Roger Wicker (R-MI) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), notes that cropland coverage can be assessed using US Department of Agriculture data for crop operations, the US Geological Survey’s Land Use classification or other databases.

Senators Want USF Mobility Fund to Target Croplands Letter to Chairman Wheeler Re: USA Fund (read the letter)