The beeps and clicks of dial-up web service are (mercifully) a long-gone memory for most city-dwellers, but for many rural residents that aural static is still a regular part of the ritual of logging on. The service remains incredibly slow -- and that tedious pace is becoming a major problem for farmers bringing their businesses into the digital age.
Today's farmers depend on the internet; online livestock auctions, up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, and even some healthy, social-media-assisted self-promotion play a major role in running these complex operations and keeping up with the pace of their peers.
It might be a while until the "broadband revolution" reaches those outside city limits, but the issue is gaining major traction everywhere from the cyborg balloons of Google's ambitious Loon Project, to lobbyist organisations backed by telecom companies, to wireless advocates, straight on to the White House. Until then, here's hoping there are no outages when anyone's bidding on bulls or Boer goats. [Modern Farmer]
Pictures: Modern Farmer