I was digging up a copy of this article today, so I thought I'd share an excerpt.
The article was printed back in 2003 when Lenowisco launched the Lenowisco Rural Area Network. The broadband connections in Rose Hill are linked into the regional Lenowisco Rural Area Network. Tobacco Commission funds for the Lenowisco Rural Area Network provided the matching dollars required for the USDA Connect Rose Hill grant.
The article's headline was "High Tech's Tobacco Road" and was printed in The Wall Street Journal on June 12, 2003.
Here are some excerpts, "When states settled their lawsuit against the big tobacco companies in 1998, farmers in tobacco-growing communities took a hit, as federal quotas and subsidies for their crops got cut. Lawmakers scratched their heads over how to fund a replacement industry in places where tobacco reigned."
"Now, an entrepreneur in Virginia - which is due to collect some $4 billion from the settlement - has prodded the state's Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to turn over some $625,000 in tobacco money to jumpstart a fiber-optic ring that will help the southwestern corner of the state into the 21st century."
"With help from a nonprofit group, the Lenowisco Rural Area Network, local officials went an extra mile (or more) by lying fiber-optic cable with water pipes for an expanded water system."
In the article, the reporters are talking with Jonesville entrepreneur Paul Elswick. The story concludes with a great quote: "We call it Silicon Holler," he says with a laugh."