FRANKFORT – Forty-six counties around the state have just received $386 million in funding to expand broadband access to more than 42,600 homes.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced that 56 grants have been awarded totaling more than $196 million from the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund. According to the governor’s office, Internet service providers that received grant funding will also contribute more than $190 million in matching funds.
The funding is part of KLC-supported legislation from the 2021 session, which allocated $300 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars to the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund to construct high-speed internet infrastructure to connect areas without access.
In June 2022, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the first round of awards from the fund, totaling $89.1 million. Combined with matching funds, more than $203 million was committed to ensure access for more than 34,000 families and businesses.
House Speaker David Osborne said the announcement is a step in the right direction, adding more work remains.
“Make no mistake, Kentucky’s historic investments in broadband expansion would not have happened without the vision and commitment of Rep. Phil Pratt, Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, and Representative Brandon Reed,” Osborne said. “They recognized the need to expand broadband services throughout the Commonwealth and drove the legislative initiatives that created and funded the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund and the Office of Broadband Development, despite the Governor’s vetoing critical provisions of the plan.
The funding will allow internet service providers to run fiber to each location. More than 25,000 locations have no service, and more than 17,000 are considered unserved.
“High-speed internet is not a luxury anymore. It’s a necessity for work, school, health care, and more, and every Kentuckian deserves access,” Gov. Beshear said. “During our first round of state funding, we made the largest investment in our history, and today we are breaking our own record with another historic milestone toward our promise to connect every home and business in the commonwealth to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.”
Click here to see the complete list of awards.