June 2 , 2006
Texas Farm Bureau members now have high-speed access to the World Wide Web from any location across the Lone Star State thanks to an agreement between the state's largest farm organization and Agristar Global Networks.
"A lot of folks in the country have no access to high speed Internet," said Si Cook, TFB director of organization programs. "All they have is dial-up, if they have anything at all."
Surveys by the U.S. Department of Agriculture peg Internet access availability in rural Texas at less than 28 percent. That's one of the lowest rates in the United States, according to Kip Pendleton, president of Agristar.
"A high-speed connection is absolutely essential today for families, ranchers and businesses to use the Internet in a meaningful way," Pendleton added. "Rural dial-up is too slow to access e-mail easily, and it doesn't even come close to handling the multimedia content now found on most popular Internet sites."
Agristar makes use of state-of-the-art, sixth-generation Hughes satellite systems to deliver the fastest Internet connection speeds available today.
Agristar's two most popular connection plans, the Star100 and Star200, are available under the Farm Bureau program. Equipment and installation is normally priced at $599, but TFB members can receive up to 40 percent off this start-up cost under a special offer good through Aug. 31.
The Star100 plan connects users at speeds up to 700 kilobytes per second, or 35 times faster than typical dial-up, and is priced at $59.95 per month on a 15-month service agreement. The Star200 plan connects users at 1,000 Kbps, 50 times faster than dial-up, and costs $69.95 per month on an 18-month service agreement.
Both plans provide Internet access speeds that are capable of handling even the most advanced website content, such as large file downloads or streaming audio and video programming.
TFB members will receive a one-time $50 cash rebate from TFB Member Services and Benefits (paid quarterly), plus a $125 cash rebate from Agristar when they initiate service. In addition, members who choose to pay for their entire service agreement in advance can get one month of high-speed service for free.
Included in Agristar's service are up to five personalized e-mail addresses, access to Agristar's information portal, which contains premium agricultural news, markets and weather content, as well as friendly, U.S.-based technical support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Agristar's high-speed service is available anywhere in Texas that has a clear view of the southern sky, Pendleton said, adding customers can be hooked up within 10 business days.
"The plan TFB members now have is guaranteed to be better than anything they could obtain as an individual or group," Cook said. "You won't find a similar service anywhere for a better price."
Those interested in learning more about this new rural Internet service benefit are encouraged to call Agristar toll free at 1-888-777-0440.