Broadband Fiber Planning Coming to Five Kentucky Counties

  • Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund
  • Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA)
  • Southeastern Kentucky Final Mile (SKY FM)
BOWLING GREEN, KY — The Southeastern Kentucky Final Mile (SKY FM) broadband fiber planning project has been awarded a state grant to create an action plan as the first step in expanding high-speed broadband across Clay, Leslie, Perry, Letcher and Knott Counties.

"We are thrilled to be one of the first final mile planning projects funded in the state," said Perry County Judge Executive Scott Alexander. "We know high-speed fiber networks hold the key to us being able to compete for good-paying jobs and this consortium of counties is committed to working together and with private industry to make that happen."

Enabling Public-private Partnerships
The Southeastern Kentucky Final Mile project's ultimate goal is to enable public-private partnerships that expand high-speed broadband Internet access to homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, public buildings, industrial parks, and other critical structures in rural southeastern Kentucky. The participants in the SKY FM project hope this first step of an informed plan will eventually lead to the construction of an extensive fiber network across the five-county area and serve as a working model for use across the Commonwealth and nation.

"This final mile project is very unique even across the nation, as this consortium will be bringing together public entities and private industry to solve this major community and economic development challenge," agreed Judge Executive Joe Asher of Clay County. "We encourage and hope to have broad and diverse involvement in this planning project from many different community groups and business representatives," added Judge Executive Zach Weinberg of Knott County.

Great Economic Equalizer
"Broadband is an essential 21st century need for the citizens and businesses across rural Kentucky," said Judge Executive Jimmy Sizemore of Leslie County. "I too believe that broadband is a great equalizer and this planning project permits us to take a giant step forward together for the better good of our citizens," said Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward.

Funding assistance is being provided through grants from the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA), and the SOAR's Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund. The SKFM project will utilize the Commonwealth's master service contract with Kentucky-based Connected Nation Exchange (CNX) as the lead consultant in creating the action plan for a public-private partnership across this five-county consortium.

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