Photo by AnnaBeth Dry.
When fierce winter weather strikes, even a short commute to work can be an exhausting and dangerous undertaking. However, many Kentucky residents live in rural areas, far from their place of employment. This can make the journey to work impossible at times.
Kentuckians are now looking forward to the completion of the statewide fiber broadband network that will change these circumstances. The KentuckyWired project will bring more than 3,000 miles of high-speed, high-capacity fiber infrastructure, often referred to as the “middle mile” to all 120 Kentucky counties. Access will be provided for state agencies, as well as network capacity for local providers, who can extend last mile infrastructure to local homes and businesses.
The KentuckyWired fiber project will increase telecommunications capacity which means hundreds of new work-from-home employment opportunities are anticipated. This development will impact winter experiences for many rural Kentuckians. For those with work-from-home jobs, there is no daunting and dangerous commute to work. Those who work from home are not exposed to an office full of sick coworkers, thus making it much easier to continue to maintain income rather than calling in sick. Employers benefit as well, by maintaining productivity throughout bad weather and flu season.
School snow days commonly impact parents work schedules as well. Working from home allows much more flexibility to care for children on snow days and sick days too. Employees even have the ability to enjoy their own comfortable office temperature, as they control the thermostat.
Once the KentuckyWired fiber infrastructure is in place, the opportunity to work from home will be available to many more people. For those who are looking to begin their quest for legitimate at-home opportunities, Teleworks USA is a great starting point. Teleworks USA is already providing training to job seekers in Eastern Kentucky and helping them to find remote job opportunities. The program has forged active partnerships with multiple global telework employers in an effort to develop new job opportunities for Eastern Kentucky’s remote workforce.
The Center for Rural Development 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. It is important to note that southern and eastern Kentucky communities have this exceptional resource available to them as they explore how to prepare for the future.
The Center for Rural Development has recently launched a new 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 has additional information about local, state, and federal funds that support the initiative to bring broadband access to rural areas.
The mission of The Center is to positively impact the communities within 45 counties of Southern and Eastern Kentucky, through supporting the implementation of KentuckyWired infrastructure. The Center is working to bridge the digital divide. Communities interested in broadband training opportunities are encouraged to contact The Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-677-6000 or visit www.centertech.com.