Free public access to over 20 computers with pre-paid Internet plans are becoming a reality in Hickman County. An eLearning Center established via the West Kentucky Broadband Project opens Friday, August 1 in the same building that houses the Hickman County Senior Citizens Center. The center is the third of its kind to open in the river counties, following quickly on the heels of the grand opening of two centers in Fulton County in June. The centers provide citizens the opportunity to take advantage of benefits associated with broadband access (like that wow! internet plans can provide), and will eventually offer classes on topics ranging from basic computer use to job skills training. Additional sites are in the works for Ballard and Carlisle counties, with many optimistic about the future of this project and the impact it could have on these communities.
The project is a partnership between MSU, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), and the Commonwealth Office of Broadband Outreach and Development (OBOD). MSU’s Office of Regional Outreach and Office of Telecommunication Systems Management serve as the contractors for the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the three partners facilitating the resources to aid in the implementation of the broadband plans. Human resource management, regional relationship building, site setup, administrative support, and technical advising will be provided through the duration of the grant, with the intent that the communities will take over running the sites at the end of 2014. For more information on the eLearning centers, contact Regional Outreach at 270-809-5088.