A new report finds farms are getting better internet access. But as Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, a large percentage of farms still can’t connect to the web.
One big impediment is infrastructure. In rural areas of the Midwest there are huge swathes without any internet connectivity. Federal communications officials say more than half of all rural Americans lack fast, reliable broadband internet connections.
Lu Nelsen at the Center for Rural Affairs says the lack of access just deepens the urban-rural divide.
“Maybe you like not having to deal with traffic and maybe you like living in a small farmhouse, but you still want to be able to get on the internet and connect to potential customers or communicate with family who might live in another state," Nelsen says.
The USDA report also showed that the more money a farm made, the more likely it was to have faster internet service, and to use the internet in the course of running the operation.