Local counties to benefit from internet project

Nov. 15—SOMERSET — Boyd, Carter and Rowan counties are among the counties to benefit from a $30.7 million project to expand broadband access to approximately 33,000 households across 16 counties and 196 communities.

Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, announced funding for the project Monday at the London Community Center.

In addition to Boyd, Carter and Rowan, the project, funded by federal and matching funds, will improve internet infrastructure in Bath, Bell, Garrard, Knox, Laurel, Letcher, Lincoln, Martin, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell and Whitley counties.

"In today's digital age, reliable internet is not just a luxury, but a necessity," Lawson said. "With this project, we're taking a monumental step towards bridging the digital divide in rural Kentucky. This is a testament to our commitment to empowering and enriching our communities."

U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (Ky. District 5) agreed.

"Broadband is our modern-day highway, and once complete, this project will encompass 124-miles of fiber, which I like to call the Super I-Way," Rogers said. "We are part of an exciting time for our region, paving this new information highway that will benefit future generations."

The broadband expansion project will include:

—33 publicly and commercially available CenterLinks Access Nodes (CANs), used to expand the Kentucky Wired statewide middle-mile to create a local-middle mile infrastructure.

—15 wireless towers within the 16 counties, as well as 40 additional towers deployed outside the scope of the grant funding.

—Construction of 124 miles of fiber (100 miles for CANs and 24 miles to bring towers on-net).

—Unlimited bandwidth between network nodes, allowing for any subscribed bandwidth out to end-users.

For more information, call (606) 677-6000 or visit centertech.com.