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Gov. Beshear announces broadband expansion funding for Kentucky

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 19:32:38-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear announced a historic investment in broadband on Monday.

The state awarded more than $89 million in 46 grants to 12 internet service providers and local governments across 35 Kentucky counties. Grant recipients will also match the state’s contributions.

That brings the total investment to more than $203 million.

The governor explained this money will be used to bring high-speed internet to some of Kentucky's most un-served areas.

"Everybody needs it," said Beshear. "Everybody deserves to have access to it."

The $203 million will bring reliable broadband to more than 34,000 Kentucky families and businesses, according to Beshear.

And he says this is not the end of this work. Beshear said Kentucky will utilize state and federal funds to have affordable, reliable internet available in all Kentucky homes.

"We're going to have the best shot in the history to provide internet access to every single Kentuckian," he said.

As far as a timeline goes, Beshear said he's hoping for significant progress over the next few years.

"I believe over the next 4 to 5 years, we're going to see dramatic improvement," said Beshear.

Here are the groups awarded the grants on Monday:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.