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Ten years ago, The Center for Rural Development became the launching pad for broadband expansion in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. Now, more households, businesses, and communities than ever before will have improved access to broadband – thanks to a major broadband expansion initiative.

Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, announced a $30.7 million project that will expand broadband access to approximately 33,000 households across 16 counties and 196 communities in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

The project, funded by federal and matching funds, will improve internet infrastructure in Bath, Bell, Boyd, Carter, Garrard, Knox, Laurel, Letcher, Lincoln, Martin, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, and Whitley counties.

The announcement was made on Monday, Nov. 13, at the London Community Center in London, KY, before local and area judges and mayors, fiber boards, state legislators, community leaders, and invited guests.

“Broadband is our modern-day highway, and once complete, this project will encompass 124-miles of fiber, which I like to call the Super I-Way,” said U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05). “We are part of an exciting time for our region, paving this new information highway that will benefit future generations.”

The broadband expansion project will include:


      • 33 publicly and commercially available CenterLinks Access Nodes (CANs), used to expand the KY Wired statewide middle-mile to create a local-middle mile infrastructure

      • 15 wireless towers within the 16 counties as well as 40 additional towers deployed outside the scope of the grant funding

      • Construction of 124 miles of fiber (100 miles for CANs and 24 miles to bring towers on-net)

    • Unlimited bandwidth between network nodes, allowing for any subscribed bandwidth out to end-users

“In today’s digital age, reliable internet is not just a luxury, but a necessity,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “With this project, we’re taking a monumental step towards bridging the digital divide in rural Kentucky. This is a testament to our commitment to empowering and enriching our communities.”

Contact Information

Media Coverage



The Commonwealth Journal

Carter County Times


The Daily Independent

The News Journal


The Times-Tribune

Cision PR Newswire

Morehead State Public Radio WMKY 90.3 FM

Government Technology

The Mountain Citizen

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Photo Gallery

From left are Judge-Executive J. Woods Adams III, Lincoln County; Mayor Todd DePriest of Jenkins; Judge-Executive Terry Adams, Letcher County; Judge-Executive Howell Holbrook Jr, Rockcastle County; State Rep. Tom O’Dell Smith; Cloyd Bumgardner, Pulaski County Judge/Administrative Assistant; Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, Judge-Executive Harry Clark, Rowan County; Judge-Executive Mike Mitchell, Knox County; Brad Kilbey, CEO of Accelecom; State Sen. Robert Stivers; TJ Scott, Vice President of Operations, Broadlinc; Jeremy Holbrook, Boyd County Commissioner, and Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. of Whitley County.