Have you ever heard the nickname “Bluegrass state”? If so, you have probably wondered: how did a type of grass become so important in order to define a whole state?
The answer is: the legendary Kentucky thoroughbreds horses. The state is known not only for hosting major horse races, but also for being home to some of the most valuable horses in the world.
Kentucky has also a strong Indigenous presence and heritage. In the 16th century, at least 5 different groups lived in the region: Iroquoian, Sioux, Algonquian, Muskogean and Yuchi.The horses were brought to the region by the Spanish, but then used by the Native American tribes.
The combination, plus the famous bluegrass and the soil conditions that favored pastures, created one of the most important horse traditions in the world. But the pastures are not used only for horse creation. The state, actually, is nationally ranked 5 th in goat farming and 8 th in beef cattle production.
The Kentucky horse tradition can not be remembered without the bourbon tradition. And here, bourbon means the whiskey, but also the “America’s Native Spirit”, the idea that surrounds both the horse and the bourbon culture in the state.
If on one hand the state is responsible for 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, as far as internet broadband is concerned, Kentucky has still room to improve.
The state is only the 40 th best in broadband access in the United States, with an average download speed of 115 Mbps. One other problem is that just 40% of the state’s addresses have access to low price internet (plans that cost $ 60 per month at maximum), a figure below the national average of 50%.
Fiber connections are the future of the internet. The technology is newer, capable of transmitting more data in less time and also is much more durable. That said, fiber internet is still being implemented in the United States and is not available everywhere yet.
And when it comes to fiber internet, the state of Kentucky is ok: 50% of Kentuckians have access to it.
Meanwhile only 54% of its residents have internet speeds of 1 Mbps or more (the called 1 gigabit internet) available for them, over 92% have at least 100 Mbps available at their houses.
Kentucky has received, since 2010, over $ 5.000.000 towards the Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of Technology, and the local government promises to improve the access to high speed and fiber connections.
The key issue in the state is that, while big cities have access to fast internet, many places do not, such as rural areas, which constitutes an important part of the region that for many years have had its economy based on agriculture and farming.
So, let’s take a deeper look at how the broadband situation is in some major Kentucky cities.