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Bridging California’s Rural/Urban Digital Divide with Mobile Broadband

Project Organizer:
US San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

California’s Central Valley is a major provider of food to the nation and the world, but its own rural development is hindered by inadequate broadband service. The level of broadband claimed by regional Internet providers does not reflect the reality.

Precision agriculture is the suite of technologies that enable farmers to gather data about fields and apply accurate water and chemical inputs to crops, maximizing production while minimizing environmental impact. The next generation of precision agriculture is moving to the cloud, where data are transmitted to companies for sophisticated analyses in real time, further increasing the impact of precision agriculture.

The overall goal of this project is to establish mobile broadband performance in agricultural areas in Yolo County and compare that performance to provider claimed performance and to precision agriculture technology demands, so that these data can inform public policy making on rural broadband. The objectives are as follows:

  1. Measure the performance of mobile broadband at 200 farm fields locations across Yolo County using the CalSPEED mobile application across its full suite of 32 metrics.
  2. Compare the download and upload speeds to those reported by the mobile broadband providers on their Form 477 mobile broadband deployment data.
  3. Compare that performance to performance requirements of precision agriculture technologies being pilot tested by Valley Vision in Yolo County.

Project Status:
In progress

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