Researchers and practitioners of precision agricultural technology have worked to overcome adoption, cost, and environmental obstacles since its introduction. The next gap in the adoption continuum of profitable precision agricultural technologies is data and data use, the so-called Big Data. Broadband connectivity could be the next hurdle affecting the precision agricultural technology chain and the employment of ‘big data’ and telematics services. Without adequate connectivity the transferring of ‘big data’ from machine-to-machine or to the cloud, inefficiencies are created. These inefficiencies come in the forms of machine downtime, increased human error, and lack of real-time information. We have addressed this issue in a conceptual framework by proposing a non-parametric data envelopment analysis. Simulation and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) are utilized to evaluate differing levels of data utilization made possible by broadband internet connectivity. The DEA methodology is useful to estimate the foregone societal value and farm-level profitability due to lack of broadband connectivity. In addition to constraining the profitability of agricultural firms; lack of broadband connectivity limits the adoption of precision agricultural technologies that make use of or relies upon near real time connectivity. The expected results are that producers that have adequate connectivity to employ ‘big data’ and telematics will be more efficient than producers without. Thus, the importance of adequate connectivity can be evaluated.


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