KY to receive $5.8 million for high speed internet

person typing on laptop (Source: Pexels/Picjumbo.com)
(Source: Pexels/Picjumbo.com)

(KBSI) – Kentucky will receive a federal “Internet for All” grant award of $5.8 million to support the expansion of high-speed, reliable internet throughout the commonwealth.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday.

Kentucky applied for and was awarded the funding through the federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, BEAD will provide $42.45 billion to states and U.S. territories to expand high-speed internet access by funding broadband planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.

The planning grant was awarded to Kentucky through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The more than $5 million Kentucky is to receive will fund:

  • Identification of unserved and underserved locales;
  • Increasing capacity of Kentucky’s broadband office;
  • Asset mapping to identify existing activities that support the project’s goal and identify gaps in access, affordability and adoption;
  • Collaboration with Kentucky’s state digital equity plan; and
  • Local engagement with unserved, underserved and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption.

This funding will help boost expansion of high-speed internet access to areas of the commonwealth with unserved populations or those with download speeds of 10 Mbps or less.

This summer, Gov. Beshear announced more than $89.6 million in grants to expand high-speed internet access to more than 34,000 Kentucky families and businesses in 36 counties.

The total investment for the first round of broadband grants is more than $204 million.

Applications are being accepted for a second round of more than $206 million in broadband grants to help create an essential lifeline to health care, work, school, family, friends, customers and communities for even more Kentuckians.

The Governor’s Better Internet Initiative is a key part of his Better Kentucky Plan, which aims to help the commonwealth lead in the post-COVID economy by applying federal dollars to build new schools, deliver clean drinking water, expand access to high-speed internet, build stronger communities, improve roads and bridges and expand electric vehicle infrastructure.

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