Today, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announced that his state will move forward with its broadband expansion project – KentuckyWired. Earlier this year, the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA), the entity overseeing KentuckyWired, entered into strategic agreements with Cincinnati Bell Telephone System (CBTS) and most recently with East Kentucky Network LLC (EKN) to partner on broadband network construction in north/central and eastern Kentucky.
The EKN partnership covers 21 counties in eastern Kentucky and will tie into the main trunk line from northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati Bell partnership is critical in that it is one of two key gateways—along with Louisville—to the worldwide web points of presence. A presence in both Cincinnati and in Louisville provides redundancy in case one site has issues.
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 that will be connectivity points in communities for local internet service providers to tap into for last-mile service to customers. Preparation work has already taken place at nearly 100 government, university and community college sites in eastern and northern Kentucky.
Before extending fiber throughout Kentucky, KCNA is working with local/regional telecommunications and utility companies on agreements to attach cable to utility poles owned by those companies. These local and regional providers are important partners to ensure the network is built throughout the Commonwealth. KCNA has entered into agreements with 100 percent of the utility pole owning companies in eastern and northern Kentucky and is rapidly nearing completion on the agreements necessary to complete the initiative throughout the Commonwealth.
“Connecting companies and Kentuckians with high-speed, high-capacity Internet will lead to new opportunities and business growth,” the Governor said in a statement. “Our administration is fully committed to the KentuckyWired project and we are excited at the possibilities before us as a result of its completion.”