Ceres Solutions to Expand Broadband Access to Indiana Co-op’s Crops 63 Location

Ceres Solutions has announced efforts to expand broadband internet access in the Indianapolis area with Land O’Lakes, internet service provider Watch Communications and Microsoft. Specifically, the initiative will target the Co-op’s Crops 63 location, which means improved broadband access will be made possible for residents of Perrysville and the surrounding communities. This effort to improve internet connectivity has the potential to directly benefit dozens of families and individuals in these rural areas who are currently unable to access adequate broadband service at their homes.

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“Access to rural broadband is essential for our communities, especially as we consider rural student needs and access for residents who require telemedicine services. For our farmer-members, broadband is increasingly critical to daily life and business success. Reliable access enables execution on precision agriculture strategies to support higher yields, improved productivity, and greater profit potential,” says Ceres Solutions Cooperative President and CEO Jeff Troike.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 18 million Americans do not have access to broadband, including nearly a quarter of Americans living in rural areas. Additionally, 60% of farmers say they lack the connectivity needed to run their business. This effort by Ceres Solutions, Watch Communications, Land O’Lakes and Microsoft aims to address these gaps.

This project is part of ongoing efforts by Land O’Lakes, Watch Communications, and Microsoft to address the rural broadband gap across the U.S. Ceres Cooperative is part of the Land O’Lakes member network, and Watch Communications is a Microsoft Airband Initiative partner. The Airband Initiative has developed a strategic approach that brings together private and public sector organizations to help address the broadband gap and aims to extend broadband access to three million people living in rural America by July 2022. Similarly, Land O’Lakes and its cooperative network are helping to bridge the digital divide with awareness and advocacy through its American Connection Project.

“We’re so excited to be working with these organizations to bring real solutions for the lack of broadband access in these communities,” said Teddy Bekele, Chief Technology Officer at Land O’Lakes. “As a farmer-owned co-op with deep roots across rural America, Land O’Lakes will continue to raise awareness and devise more ways to increase access to digital connectivity for all Americans.”

“Increasing access to broadband internet in rural areas is a primary focus of our business,” said Watch Communications President and CEO Chris Daniels. “We believe that connection speeds and strength should not be limited based on a zip code. Our work with Land O’Lakes and Microsoft enables the expansion of broadband through advanced technologies that overcome challenging non-line-of-sight conditions that are common in rural America. We appreciate the chance to serve members of Ceres Solutions.”

“Much of rural America lacks access to the digital opportunities that are facilitated through reliable high-speed internet,” said Vickie Robinson, general manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. “Through connectivity efforts like this, we can help level the playing field and improve livelihoods in these previously under-connected communities.”

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