The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the need for all Kentucky citizens to have high-speed, reliable internet access to stay informed and connected to school, work, family, church, health care and other critical services.
As more jobs transitioned to telework and classrooms moved to online learning, households across Kentucky increasingly relied on technology dependent on enhanced internet capacity to not only download data, but also to upload and share information, particularly when two or more platforms were simultaneously online.
Under House Bill 320 and House Bill 382, a bipartisan agreement enacted by the 2021 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Beshear, Kentucky's Broadband Deployment Fund includes $300 million in state funds earmarked to address the connectivity needs of unserved and underserved communities across the commonwealth. Combined with at least 50% required matching federal investments, a minimum of $600 million will support the expansion of high-speed internet in Kentucky, creating more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. Coupled with the recent broadband speed test, access mapping and the KentuckyWired project, the commonwealth has the potential to move to the forefront of high-speed internet expansion nationwide.