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Expanding broadband access for Milford residents

Purina Animal Nutrition, Land O'Lakes, Watch Communications, and Microsoft to boost internet speeds and extend broadband connectivity

Expanding broadband access for Milford residents


MILFORD, INDIANA (October 18, 2021) – Today, efforts to expand broadband internet access for residents of the Milford, Indiana area is announced with Purina Animal Nutrition, Land O’Lakes, internet service provider Watch Communications and Microsoft.

Watch Communications will install high-speed broadband technology to the Purina Animal Nutrition facility and the surrounding area. This effort to improve internet connectivity has the potential to directly benefit local residents in this area who are currently unable to access adequate broadband service at their homes.

Not only is broadband increasingly critical to daily life, it also enables precision agriculture, increasing yields, improving productivity, and boosting profits. Yet, 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 percent of farmers say they lack the connectivity needed to run their business. This effort by 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 United States. Watch Communications is a Microsoft Airband Initiative partner, and 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.”

“Today, too many in rural America don't have access to digital opportunities available to the rest of the United States,” said Vickie Robinson, general manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. “But by investing in connectivity relationships like this, we can help rural communities thrive in the 21st century economy.

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About Watch Communications
Founded in 1992, Watch Communications is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) using a combination of fixed wireless and fiber technologies to serve residential and business customers throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Watch Communications began as a wireless cable TV provider and expanded service offerings in 1998 to include the Internet. Since its creation, Watch Communications has focused on unserved and underserved small and rural markets.

About Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2019 annual sales of $14 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 212 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 99 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands and businesses in agriculture and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra, LLC. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.

4001 Lexington Avenue North Arden Hills, MN 55126 | Mailing: P.O. Box 64101 St. Paul, MN 55164-0101 | 651.375.2222