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Kentucky approved for federal high-speed internet expansion funding

Andy Beshear
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 17, 2024

(LEX 18) — Kentucky will now be able to request access to more than $1 billion in federal funding to expand high-speed internet.

On Monday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian announced that Kentucky’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program proposal has been approved, which allows the state to access “Internet for All” funding.

Governor Andy Beshear said this funding is the largest public investment in high-speed internet in the commonwealth’s history. He said it will ensure Kentuckians all across the state will have access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet.

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“High-speed internet isn’t just the infrastructure of the future, it’s the infrastructure of right now. It’s something that everybody wants, and it needs to be both accessible and affordable,” Beshear said. “That’s why the BEAD program is transformational. It’s a chance for everybody to chase their dreams – whether that’s applying for a new job or applying to college, getting the health care they need to feel their best, or starting a business in a rural area, but knowing they can sell their product across the country, all because they have high-speed internet.”

The BEAD program is part of the $42.5 billion federal investment in high-speed internet connectivity across the U.S. from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

According to the White House, states, territories and Washington D.C. were allocated funding to deploy or upgrade high-speed Internet networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used on high-speed Internet adoption, training, and workforce development efforts, among other eligible uses.