PIKEVILLE, Ky – Speaking at the SOAR Summit in Pikeville, Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers announced completion of the construction phase of the KentuckyWired project in Eastern Kentucky.
The announcement is another major milestone for the KentuckyWired project which, when completed, will be the first statewide high-speed broadband network in the nation. The completion of KentuckyWired’s 1B and 2 rings will provide the infrastructure for broadband connectivity in 39 counties, including (Ring 1B) Bath, Bourbon, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clark, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wolfe, and (Ring 2) Bell, Harlan, Knox, Letcher, McCreary, Pike, Wayne and Whitley.
“Today, we are excited to announce the continued forward progress of the KentuckyWired project under our administration,” said Gov. Bevin. “With construction of the 1B and 2 rings complete, Eastern Kentucky is poised to benefit from the economic opportunities and growth that are possible with access to high-speed broadband. I am grateful to Congressman Rogers and the entire KentuckyWired team for their tireless work to bring broadband access not only to the 39 Eastern and Southern Kentucky counties in the 1B and 2 rings, but to the other 81 Kentucky counties as well.”
The announcement comes less than three months after Gov. Bevin and Congressman Rogers announced completion of the project’s 1A ring in Central Kentucky, which provided an essential uplink to the global internet and allowed for expansion of the network into Eastern Kentucky.
“We celebrated a historic milestone in Kentucky today by turning on KentuckyWired’s highly anticipated network rings in Eastern Kentucky,” said Congressman Rogers, a co-founding principal of SOAR. “Now, we turn our attention to the last mile, by helping local leaders and providers take the next steps to extend the network on out into every community to expand access to your homes and businesses. This new broadband interstate bridges the digital gap to high-tech jobs and economic development opportunities for every single county in Kentucky.”
KentuckyWired’s broadband connectivity is expected to be 10 to 20 times faster than what is currently offered by providers. The network is a middle mile network, meaning that it will be up to local internet service providers (ISPs) to offer broadband to homes and businesses. KentuckyWired representatives are planning a series of community meetings, in partnership with The Center for Rural Development, to ensure that local communities understand the options that are available to connect to the KentuckyWired network.
Reliable, high-speed internet has proven a key factor for job growth and creation, with 79 percent of job seekers reporting the use of online resources in their employment search. KentuckyWired will increase economic opportunities in Eastern Kentucky by providing access to broadband for new and existing companies looking to locate in the region. The KentuckyWired network not only has the potential to transform local economies, but will also provide first responders, healthcare providers, and local governments with the connectivity necessary to protect and serve Kentuckians.
Representatives from Senture, one of Southern and Eastern Kentucky’s largest technology-based employers, joined Gov. Bevin and Congressman Rogers on stage at the SOAR Summit to underscore the importance of broadband connectivity in the region by announcing the addition of 400 jobs at the facilities in London, Annville and Williamsburg.
“Senture is very excited to announce these 400 new jobs for southeastern Kentucky,” said Christopher Deaton, President and CEO. “The hard work and dedication of Senture’s employees make this growth possible. We are excited about new opportunities afforded by KentuckyWired and the future of our company and our communities.”
KentuckyWired officials expect construction of the network to be completed in 2020. To learn more about KentuckyWired and how your community can connect to the network, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502-782-9549.
To view a map of the completed rings, click here. To view a map of the KentuckyWired project, click here.
Click here to watch the video of the KentuckyWired announcement.
As construction of the KentuckyWired middle mile fiber network enters its final phases, The Center for Rural Development is working to offer internet service providers (ISPs) with access points to extend reliable high-speed, high-capacity internet throughout Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
The Center is collaborating with a multitude of ISPs to discuss logistics for CenterLinks Access Nodes. The CenterLinks Access Nodes can be thought of as access ramps for providers to tap into the KentuckyWired middle mile network. These discussions are shaping plans to expand and improve broadband services throughout the region.
Additionally, The Center has recently launched a Technology Assistance Program (TAP) to help communities begin asset mapping, perform feasibility studies, and conduct pre-engineering analysis of community fiber projects or other activities that will extend the reach of the KentuckyWired fiber infrastructure. The initiative is funded by grant KY-18984-17 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and is administered by The Center for Rural Development.
The Center is dedicated to helping communities explore ways to become “fiber ready”, in order to make reliable high-speed, high-capacity internet available to as many people as possible. The Center encourages communities and ISPs to work together and utilize TAP resources to plan last mile services that originate at CenterLinks Access Nodes.
The Center also has information about local, state, and federal funds that support the initiative to bring broadband access to rural areas and will be hosting regional training sessions to help community leaders implement the last mile.
More information about TAP can be found at https://centertech.com/2019/01/technology-assistance-program-tap/. Communities interested in broadband training opportunities and internet service providers looking to learn more about accessing the KentuckyWired middle mile through CenterLink Access Nodes, are encouraged to contact The Center at email@example.com or 606-677-6000.