The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week established the 5G Fund for Rural America. The fund will hand over billions of dollars worth of taxpayer money to the world’s largest telecom providers. In exchange, the telecom giants will build 5G infrastructure in rural regions of the U.S. — including the infrastructure needed for 5G or wireless farming, also known as “precision agriculture.”
Precision agriculture involves the use of sensors in fields to measure moisture and temperature levels, satellites and drones that provide remote real-time images of crops, and even wireless sensors attached to cattle that monitor their health and track their location.
Proponents of precision agriculture see it as a path towards increased profitability, sustainability and the ability for farmers to determine the exact optimal amount of water, fertilizers or pesticides.
But critics say it’s simply a “marriage between agribusiness and spy technology.”
“Precision farming is about commodification and control of information and it is among the high-tech tools that are driving the industrialization of agriculture, the loss of local farm knowledge and the erosion of farmers’ rights,” Hope Shand, research director for ETC Group, told CorpWatch.
Global Research, in its report, “5G Agriculture – Food from Frankenstein Farming,” described “5G food” as a “GMO look-alike” and concluded that 5G agriculture “is just one more toxic scam within the egregious global roll-out of 5G — and its attempt to monitor, control and irradiate all that lives, breathes and has the expectation of a life worth living.”
The FCC will hold two rounds of reverse auctions to distribute up to $9 billion for deploying 5G networks in the country’s rural areas. Telecom companies like Verizon and AT&T and satellite companies like SpaceMobile and Lynk are eligible to bid during the reverse auction.