FCC Schedules Next Meeting for Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force (July 8, 2021)

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Arent Fox

FCC Seeks Nominations for Membership on Task Force and Its Working Groups by July 12, 2021.

What to Know

  • The Federal Communications Commission will convene the next meeting of its Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Task Force) on July 8, 2021.
  • The FCC is seeking nominations for membership on the Task Force and its Working Groups, and nominations must be received by the FCC by July 12, 2021.
  • These efforts further the FCC’s ongoing support of Precision Agriculture, including the allocation of at least $1 billion pursuant to an auction to be held as part of the agency’s 5G Fund.

Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force Meeting Scheduled and Nominations Sought

The Task Force is a federal advisory committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on accelerating the deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision agriculture.

The Task Force’s activities are part of the FCC’s ongoing effort to support Precision Agriculture, including the allocation of at least $1 billion pursuant to an auction to be held as part of the agency’s 5G Fund.

The four “Working Groups” of the Task Force are: (1) Mapping and Analyzing Connectivity on Agricultural Lands, (2) Examining Current and Future Connectivity Demand for Precision Agriculture, (3) Encouraging Adoption of Precision Agriculture and Availability of High-Quality Jobs on Connected Farms, and (4) Accelerating Broadband Deployment on Unserved Agricultural Lands. These Working groups may change at the discretion of the FCC Chair.

Meeting Scheduled

As announced by Public Notice, the Task Force will convene its next meeting on Thursday, July 8, 2021, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT. At this meeting, the Task Force will hear updates from the Working Group leadership. The meeting will be open to the public on the Internet via live feed from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

Nominations Sought

As further announced by Public Notice here, the FCC is seeking nominations for membership on the Task Force and its Working Groups. Nominations for membership to the Task Force must be submitted no later than July 12, 2021.

Voting members will be selected to balance the expertise and viewpoints that are necessary to address effectively the issues to be considered by the Task Force.

Stakeholders involved in this area may wish to consider nominating task force and working group members.

Procedures and other issues related to the nomination process can be found here.

Efforts Supplement the FCC’s Activity in Support of Precision Agriculture

These efforts build upon the FCC’s strong support of Precision Agriculture technologies and issues, including the commitment of at least $1 billion, to be made available to specifically target the deployment of technologically innovative 5G networks that facilitate precision agriculture. These funds will be available in “Phase II” of the FCC’s 5G Fund, the general goal of which is to bring 5G wireless broadband connectivity to rural America. The Public Notice announcing the adoption of the Order allocating these funds can be accessed here.

Arent Fox is tracking this issue carefully and can assist agribusinesses and others in the AgTech space with identifying potential service provider partners, to take advantage of these significant funding and spectrum allocations.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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