Statewide broadband network initiative KentuckyWired moving forward

Published: Sep. 16, 2016 at 1:59 PM EDT
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Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers announced on Friday that the state’s broadband initiative, KentuckyWired, is moving forward.

The initial build for the project will start in eastern Kentucky, followed by the rest of the state.

“Access to a skilled workforce is a critical factor for attracting employers, and is vital to making Kentucky’s economy robust and sustainable,” Gov. Bevin said. “Connecting companies and Kentuckians with high-speed, high-capacity Internet will lead to new opportunities and business growth."

Gov. Bevin says his administration is "fully committed to the KentuckyWired project."

Earlier this year, the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the entity overseeing KentuckyWired, entered into agreements with Cincinnati Bell Telephone System and most recently with East Kentucky Network to partner on broadband network construction in north/central and eastern Kentucky.

The EKN partnership covers 21 counties in eastern Kentucky. EKN will construct approximately 305 miles of fiber optic cable in their service areas.

The Cincinnati Bell partnership will cover 15 counties and communities. Cincinnati Bell will improve its existing network, as well as construct 166 miles of fiber optic cable.

The KentuckyWired middle-mile network, a public-private-partnership with the Macquarie Group, will consist of more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable and more than 1,000 government and post-secondary education sites.

Those sites will be connectivity points in communities for local internet service providers to tap into for service to customers.

Preparation work has already taken place at nearly 100 government, university, and community college sites in eastern and northern Kentucky.

The project is about 4 to 8 months behind schedule. It's expected to be completed between March and June of 2019.