The small community of Rosine in Ohio County now has high-speed Internet thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new service has led to the creation of a community Internet center and is even connecting to the father of bluegrass music.
Rosine is the home of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, and a museum in his honor is under construction. Now the new museum will be able to have high-speed Internet. It’s one of the bonuses for Rosine that comes along with an $800,000 grant from the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. The grant was awarded to the Evansville-based company Q-Wireless.
Joe Randolph is the controller for Q-Wireless and says the Rosine Volunteer Fire department has now become a public space for going online.
“We were able to replace their communications tower with a more robust tower. That helps them out. And then the community center, what is now the community center, was literally just the storage room for the fire department. We were able to work with them, make a very usable space out of it and turn it into a computer center for the community to use at no charge.”
The Rosine Community Internet Center has four computers and a printer. Randolph said the broad purpose of the grant is to get high-speed Internet to under-served rural areas that have no service available, other than satellite.
“The real project here was to get high-speed Internet to the community of Rosine, the community center is just a part of the requirement the RUS puts on this funding. So while the community center is something tangible and people can walk in and walk out and use the Internet, to us the bigger part is to get high-speed Internet service into the full community.”
The USDA grant requires business and community support. Q-Wireless contributed 17 percent of the cost of the project, which also received support from the Green River Area Development District, Ohio County Fiscal Court and neighboring McLean County.