More Kentuckians will soon have access to high-speed internet. Mike Hayden, interim executive director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, said the KentuckyWired project is “knocking on the door of finalization” and is nearing 99% completion. Hayden said the project began with approximately 3,300 miles of fiber construction and is down to about 37 or 38 miles remaining. The announcement came at KCNA’s May 10 regular board meeting.
KCNA is currently acquiring easements related to work in Fort Knox and received copies of those documents on May 10, enabling the group to complete the seven remaining miles of the project. “I’ll work with our construction partners to begin the finalization of that last seven miles in Fort Knox,” Hayden said. “We anticipate a two- to three-week construction, so there’s minimal activity associated with that.”
Hayden said utility issues had caused a gap of approximately 36 miles in Western Kentucky between Ledbetter and Princeton, and they should be able to resolve the problems quickly. According to Hayden, state agencies previously had a managed contract for internet service with AT&T. Doug Hendrix, general counsel for KCNA, said they migrated 16 state offices in Ring 3 to the KentuckyWired system last week. Ring 1A and Ring 5 were moved to the KentuckyWired system, and they will complete Ring 1B soon. Ring 2 will start in June, according to Hendrix. Hayden said they should finish Ring 4 in the fall of this year. “Every week, we’re sending letters to the individual state representatives and legislators just to inform them that we’re migrating sites in their area, so it seems to be moving along pretty well,” Hendrix said.
“The Administrative Office of the Courts had asked that KCNA wait until state agencies were migrated before bringing them on board. Now that we are approaching completion of that, we will reengage with them and get a migration schedule established with the Administrative Office of the Courts,” Hayden said.
KCNA is also migrating services for the Kentucky Community Technical College System. “We’ve established some links with Windstream to allow traffic to traverse both networks in the interim until it’s all converted to KentuckyWired,” Hayden said. “We’re hoping to begin the first conversions and migrations of KCTCS actual sites beginning at the end of June at Somerset Community College.” He added that KCNA is also working with the eight regional universities and will begin migration during the next semester break.
“Finally, this is good news to present, so we will continue to press forward, and hopefully, in the next discussion, we can say we are at 100% and that we are finalizing all migrations,” Hayden said.