The number of farms in the United States with broadband Internet access continues to climb, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS), with DSL, wireless and satellite as the ascendant access technologies. Cable-based broadband usage does not appear to be growing. Meanwhile, dial-up Internet access usage in U.S. farm households is dropping fast.
Click here for detailed data from the USDA's farm computer usage report
The information comes from a new USDA report, "Farm Computer Usage and Ownership, August 2011." The report says that among the 62 percent of U.S. farms that have Internet access--a figure that itself is up from 59 percent in 2009--about 38 percent are connected with DSL broadband technology. That is an increase of about 2 percent over the last two years. About 20 percent of the farms have some form of wireless broadband Internet access, while about 15 percent have satellite broadband access. Cable accounts for about 11 percent, a penetration figure that has not grown over the last two years.
The most surprising number in the report, however, might be the current percentage of farms with dial-up Internet access--just 12 percent, dropping from about 23 percent just two years ago.
Some other notable numbers from the report: About 65 percent of farms now have access to a computer, up just one percentage point from 2009. Also, about 84 percent of U.S. farms with sales and government payments of $250,000 or more have access to a computer, and 82 percent have Internet access. The percentages drop off fairly quickly as the amount of government support and sales drop off. For example, farms with sales and government payments between $10,000 and $99,999 have only 60 percent Internet access penetration.
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