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$203 million investment brings high-speed internet expansion to 35 counties

From the Governor's Office
"High-speed, reliable internet service is not just the infrastructure of the future, it is the infrastructure of the present," Gov. Andy Beshear said during the announcement.

Several counties will benefit from an investment of more than $203 million to expand reliable and affordable high-speed internet to more than 34,000 Kentucky families and businesses.

Gov. Andy Beshear said that the state’s Better Internet program is providing more than $89.1 million in 46 grant awards to 12 internet service providers and local governments across 35 Kentucky counties. Grant recipients have pledged funds to match the state’s contributions, bringing the total investment for this round of broadband expansion awards to more than $203 million.

The 12 successful applicants, representing 46 projects, were selected based on their demonstrated ability to meet certain conditions required to receive this funding.

The awards announced are the result of a bipartisan agreement signed into law by Gov. Beshear in April 2021 that allocated $300 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars to bring internet access to unserved and underserved communities across the commonwealth.

Awards involving multiple counties include: 

Charter Communications received 18 grant awards totaling $49,980,694. The overall project investment is $118,808,035 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 18,553 currently unserved households and businesses located in Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Carroll, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties.

Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative received seven grants totaling $13,827,320. The overall project cost is $27,906,340 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 5,598 currently unserved households and businesses located in Caldwell, Christian, Lyon, Todd and Trigg counties.

West Kentucky Rural Telephone Co-op Corporation received two grant awards totaling $3,365,704. The overall project cost is $6,731,408 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 843 currently unserved households and businesses located in Calloway and Marshall counties.

South Central Telecom received a grant for $1,885,000. The overall project cost is $3,710,000 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 215 currently unserved households and businesses located in Edmonson and Warren counties.

Gibson Connect received a grant for $4,650,880. The overall project cost is $11,073,552 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 1,763 currently unserved households and businesses located in Fulton, Graves and Hickman counties.

Duo County Telephone Cooperative received a grant for $3,368,826. The overall project cost is $6,737,652 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 550 currently unserved households and businesses located in Russell and Wayne counties.

Bardstown Connect received a grant for $1,090,982. The overall project cost is $3,305,064 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 1,061 currently unserved households and businesses located in Bullitt, Nelson, Spencer and Washington counties.

Awards involving single counties include: 

BOONE COUNTY

Boone County Fiscal Court received a grant for $808,832. The overall project cost is $4,880,432 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 2,130 currently unserved households and businesses located in Boone County.

Gary Moore, Boone County judge/executive, said financial support for this project will be transformational for his constituents.

“Boone County is extremely pleased and grateful to KIA in receiving a notice of preliminary award for the county’s high-speed internet project in the amount of $808,832,” Moore said. “These funds will be applied to continuing the buildout of fiber to every household in the county, resulting in universal access to a system capable of delivering 1.0 gigabyte of service. This transformative project continues to move forward and is on schedule for completion during the first half of 2023.”

CASEY COUNTY

Cumberland Cellular received a grant for $1,012,879. The overall project cost is $2,025,758 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 290 currently unserved households and businesses located in Casey County.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Frankfort Plant Board received 11 grants totaling $8,045,741. The overall project cost is $16,091,483 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 1,918 currently unserved households and businesses located in Franklin County.

MONROE COUNTY

Tri-County Electric received a grant for $900,000. The overall project cost is $1,800,000 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 97 currently unserved households and businesses located in Monroe County.

POWELL COUNTY

Crystal Broadband Networks received a grant for $255,835. The overall project cost is $515,835 including the required matching funds. This investment will expand access to high-speed internet to 1,006 currently unserved households and businesses located in Powell County. 

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House Bill 320 and House Bill 382, enacted by the 2021 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Beshear, established Kentucky’s Broadband Deployment Fund to assist private sector entities and governmental agencies in the cost of constructing the “last mile” of high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved households and businesses across Kentucky.

The fund includes $300 million earmarked for the construction of high-speed internet infrastructure to connect areas currently without access.

Combined with at least 50 percent required matching federal investments, a minimum of $600 million will support the expansion of high-speed internet in Kentucky, creating more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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