Expanding rural broadband connectivity

Doug MacMillan
Doug MacMillan • 2 February 2022
market food

For farmers in Wellington County, digital technologies offer many opportunities. Fourth-generation farmer Romy Schill uses an e-commerce platform to sell sustainably produced wool. Robotic milking systems support operations at the Elora Research Station. And Bob Wilson uses RFID tags to track each of his calves over the course of their lives. 

However, a lack of reliable high-speed internet prevents many producers from taking full advantage of high-tech innovation. Our Food Future’s Rural Broadband Connectivity, Knowledge, and Tools initiative is helping to change that in a number of ways.

dOur Connectivity Guidebook for Rural Ontario is helping producers understand and access digital solutions. We’re advocating for better infrastructure: surveying community members to map service gaps and engaging with internet service providers and funders to get underserved areas connected sooner. We’re also working with host farms to test signal-boosting equipment and similar options. 

And because the possibilities for data-driven agriculture continue to grow, we’re liaising with University of Guelph researchers and organizations like R2B2 to facilitate those advances.