Mediacom Business and John Deere Propose Plan To Automate Farming In Iowa

Written by Kristi Salmon on January 9, 2018.

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Today's farmers can harness the power of the Internet to do all the things they need to do to put food on our tables. But what if they could do more? What if the coverage area extended to the far reaching communities of America's Heartland?  During the 2014 Connect Iowa Broadband Summit in Ankeny, Iowa, Dan Templin, SVP of Mediacom Business, announced an initiative with the leading agriculture machinery company, Deere & Company, (John Deere) that would bring high-speed broadband access to Iowa farms.

Mediacom Business and John Deere are looking to close the gap between farming operations that currently have a reliable broadband internet and those that severely lack connectivity.  According to a Mediacom Business press release on June 16, 2014, Templin and John Deere asked the Federal Communication Commission for $800,000 in funding to enable Mediacom Buisness to "deliver the broadband services agribusinesses require."

The Mediacom Business team is deeply rooted in these areas and committed to empowering the underserved communities in Iowa through its Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions™ Initiative and continuing work with broadband associations like Connect Iowa.  Additionally, Mediacom Business’ fiber network would allow for machine to machine communication where farmers and those operating in the field can receive and upload data to their tablets in real time, helping them find customers faster or alerting business partners to production or delivery issues as they occur.

Thanks to sensors installed in equipment, and broadband connectivity powered by Mediacom Business, John Deere would be able to locate tractors that are in need of repair or service within hours -- alerting the farmer or agribusiness manager that equipment should be stopped before further damage -- and more expensive repairs -- could result.

Rural areas have historically been perceived to not be high data transfer zones, but in the age of the Internet of Things, farmers and agribusiness need connectivity more than ever, as production cycles shorten and the time to market reduces. The ability to transfer crop and harvest information in real time can affect commodity pricing, which is all the more reason that these underserved areas receive the level of broadband service that Mediacom Business fiber network is poised to provide.