Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Slow internet speeds hinder ag production; farmers more interested in uploading than downloading

Slow internet speeds in rural areas are hurting the agricultural industry, especially when it comes to telematics, which includes GPS and navigation systems, James Schmidt reports for Kansas State University. Terry Griffin, assistant professor of agricultural economics at KSU, said that 20 percent of service providers, ag retailers, cooperatives and other input suppliers used telematics in 2015, up from 15 percent in 2013. He told Schmidt, “The point is, the adoption of telematics is increasing at a steady rate, but still a pretty small percentage of service providers use the potential of that technology.”

Griffin said another area that affects agriculture is that internet providers are more concerned with download speeds, instead of upload speeds, Schmidt writes. Griffin told him, “The problem with that for agriculture is we tend to want to upload data from fields that we generate from our farming equipment rather than download." Griffin told Schmidt, when it comes to slow speed, “Transferring data is still possible, it just may not be in real time as the data in the fields are collected. There is opportunity to move data after the fact, which is going to be the status quo for a little while. There is pressure from farms that the cellular connectivity providers can see the need to improve their services.” (Read more)

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