Farm bill includes King bill to bring fast internet to farms

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BANGOR, Maine (AP) - A bill co-sponsored by Maine's independent senator that promises to help bring high-speed internet to farms has passed Congress as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Sen. Angus King in May co-sponsored the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018, which he says is designed to promote precision agriculture and deployment of rural broadband. The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to start a task force to find gaps in high-speed internet connectivity in agricultural areas.

Congress sent the 2018 Farm Bill to Republican President Trump last week.

Amanda Beal of Maine Farmland Trust previously said greater connectivity would improve access to markets for farmers in Maine and beyond.

The proposal cites a goal of reaching 95 percent of agricultural land with fixed and mobile high-speed broadband by 2025.