Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy
Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Establishes a Pilot Satellite Broadband Cost-Share Program
Frankfort, KY. (July 6, 2006)- The Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy has established a Pilot Satellite Broadband Cost-Share Program for counties to adopt, using County Agricultural Development Funds. High-speed Internet (broadband) will allow Kentucky farmers to simplify important daily tasks, while developing marketing and sales opportunities. Internet resources will allow farmers to remain competitive and profitable in today’s changing agricultural economy.
In 2005, a United States Department of Agriculture report showed that fewer Kentucky farmers have access to the Internet (30 percent) compared to farmers in all other states.
“My Prescription for Innovation calls for broadband availability for all Kentuckians by 2007, and the Commonwealth is quickly approaching that goal. Nevertheless, for many farm families in the most rural areas of Kentucky, DSL (digital subscriber line), cable, or wireless broadband services are not available,” Governor Ernie Fletcher stated. “This program will greatly benefit those producers who wish to gain access to high-speed Internet services, and increase the percentage of Kentucky farmers with Internet access.”
The goals of this program are to: 1) Improve farm income through cost-share for establishing satellite broadband service that will improve farm operation efficiency for producers unable to access broadband service; 2) Impact a high number of tobacco dependant producers affected by loss of income resulting from cuts in tobacco production; 3) Encourage the use of broadband Internet service to assist producers in research and science-based decisions for the management and expansion of technology based initiatives in their farming operations; 4) Assist tobacco dependant producers interested in gaining the speed broadband Internet service provides; and 5) to increase the percentage of Kentucky farmers with Internet access.
The program can provide cost-share assistance in two areas. A producer is eligible for 50% of the cost of equipment and installation provided by a satellite broadband provider not to exceed $250 per producer. Once the equipment is installed, the producer is eligible for cost-share up to 50% of the cost of satellite broadband service for a period of one year not to exceed $40.00 per month ($480.00 for the one year) per producer.
Those interested in implementing this pilot program should contact the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy at (502) 564-4627. Applications for funds must be directed through the local County Agricultural Development Council(s) on a model program application. To learn more about cost-share and loan programs available in your area contact the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy at (502) 564-4627.