rural broadband

Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen says he would push to get the Tennessee Valley Authority to help expand broadband internet access to rural areas if elected.

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A member of the Federal Communications Commission heard on Tuesday from Ohio Valley residents upset about poor internet service in rural communities. 

Izzy Broomfield

Nearly half of rural Americans don’t have access to broadband internet -- the high-speed connection many of us take for granted. In 65 counties across Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, the majority of residents don’t have access to broadband -- that’s one-quarter of all the counties in those three states. Benny Becker reports that some rural communities are banding together to get connected.

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Kentucky’s statewide broadband internet project, KentuckyWired, will be complete by mid-2019, according to Gov. Matt Bevin.

Charles Rondeau, publicdomainpictures.net

Kentucky is moving forward with an effort to bring broadband internet closer to communities throughout the state. Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order creating the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, which will manage the open-access network Kentucky Wired. Over the next 3 years, the state plans to build 3,000 miles of fiber infrastructure at a cost of $324 million, $30 million of which will come from the state, $23.5 million from federal funds, and the remaining $270.9 million from private investment.