Newhouse Hopeful DATA Act Will Help Farming Community Use The Latest Technology

Agriculture, specifically the tools used to produce food, fiber and fuel changes at a brisk pace. And while more and more farmers are interested in applying the latest technology on their operation, without reliable broadband, that’s nothing more than a wish.

In an effort to better access where broadband service exists and where it lacks, Central Washington’s Dan Newhouse has co-sponsored the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, better known as the broadband DATA Act. Newhouse said the pandemic has highlighted on how broadband access not adequate in many rural communities across the nation. And he noted the need for reliable broadband service is not going away anytime soon.

“Virtual meetings, school, telemedicine, and then you put on top of that, the way agriculture is changing, the need to have connectivity just to conduct regular business on the modern farm, all of these things have highlighted the inequity and the short comings of rural broadband.”

The Broadband DATA Act, requires the FCC to change the way information is collected, verified, and reported. Specifically, the FCC must collect and disseminate granular broadband service availability data (broadband maps) from wired, fixed-wireless, satellite, and mobile broadband providers. Newhouse said this legislation will help provide the needed resources allowing many in the farming community use and apply the latest technology.

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