Scott County works to expand internet access in preparation for virtual learning

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - Scott County’s judge-executive, Joe Covington, told WKYT the county was already working on a plan to expand internet access, and then the pandemic hit.

“We were working on it. But what COVID has done is magnified the situation. And it’s really uncovered how badly we need it. It’s evident that we need to work now,” Covington said.

Covington says he only lives about three miles out of town, but relies on his phone to go online.

“There are so many people that I’ve talked to that are in the same boat as I am, or have none, they don’t even have good cell service,” Covington.

They’re asking everyone in the county to take a broadband speed test and working with a company that will compile that information into the best way to connect the maximum number of homes.

“So if we could get our analysis together, get a grant proposal and the application together that had true data that shows the need then perhaps we can get some of those federal dollars to help expand connectivity in the community,” Covington said.

Internet access isn’t just important for schoolwork. It can also influence property values when people are deciding where to live.

“As a realtor, that’s one of the big things that a lot of clients have a problem with is being somewhere where they can get Internet access for their business,” said Melissa Baker. “I feel like at this point everyone should have access to the Internet. “

But right now, not everyone does.

They are also working with 17 other counties In the Bluegrass Area Development District. If this program works for Scott County they could be a pilot program for others.

“Broadband is just like from years ago when we need to put electricity and water out into the rural parts of the United States, I feel truly that broadband is just like that.”

The link to that test is on the Scott county judge-executive Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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