By Jean-Paul MacDonald
WISPA - Broadband Without Boundaries is cheering on Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Ray Lujan for introducing the groundbreaking LAST ACRE Act. This much-needed bill recognizes the significance of connecting rural farms with high-speed broadband, propelling productivity and growth.
Leveraging USDA resources, the Act envisions "last acre" coverage, ensuring that all farmland and structures can benefit from broadband access, regardless of the technology employed.
Providing life-changing internet where it was previously rare, Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) have been at the vanguard of serving American farmlands for a long time. For many rural areas, they provided essential competition to traditional providers, driving innovation and accessibility.
Some of WISPA's pioneers were farmers themselves, who realized the value of Internet access for reaching markets, leading them to create broadband infrastructure on their own, revolutionizing their farms and communities.
The role of broadband in the U.S. agricultural ecosystem cannot be overstated. It now connects farms, devices, soil, and livestock, essential for maintaining the country's status as a productive agricultural powerhouse.
However, due to the geographical remoteness and challenges in serving rural areas, universal broadband access has been elusive. The LAST ACRE Act takes a holistic approach, presenting a flexible program through the USDA to extend connectivity options to every American farmer.
WISPA's support for the LAST ACRE Act stems from its belief in the intrinsic connection between thriving farms and a healthy nation. By championing this bill, WISPA aims to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure its successful passage, ushering in a new era of technological empowerment for rural communities and American farmers.