How Co-ops Can Lead the Way for DIY On-Farm Broadband

By Jeff Johnston

May 24, 2022

Key Points

  • As American agriculture grapples with scarce labor and increasing costs, solutions could lie in the efficiency and efficacy of precision agriculture applications. But adoption has been hindered by a variety of issues, most notably the lack of affordable, reliable broadband access in rural America.
  • The FCC’s decision to make Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum available has enabled a wide range of organizations to build their own carrier-grade private wireless networks at costs that were unthinkable a few years ago.
  • With speeds in excess of 100Mbps and options for customization, these networks are a self-sufficient solution to support on-farm broadband demand for precision ag technologies.
  • Cooperatives have an opportunity to build and deliver customized, carrier-grade, high speed private wireless networks to their farmer members to help drive the adoption of precision agriculture applications.
  • Offering these network solutions could be a new, reliable revenue source for U.S. farm supply cooperatives, helping them to offset the highly competitive and volatile business of fertilizer, chemical, and other production input sales.

Read the Report


Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is not intended to be investment, tax, or legal advice and should not be relied upon by recipients for such purposes. The information contained in this report has been compiled from what CoBank regards as reliable sources. However, CoBank does not make any representation or warranty regarding the content, and disclaims any responsibility for the information, materials, third-party opinions, and data included in this report. In no event will CoBank be liable for any decision made or actions taken by any person or persons relying on the information contained in this report.


Stay ahead of the game in your field. Subscribe today.

Get CoBank's industry-leading Knowledge Exchange research reports delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they're released.

Have a comment or question about these reports?

Contact CoBank's Knowledge Exchange team to ask questions, engage with analysts or receive additional information.