Today, only about half of Kentucky’s households use broadband internet service, and nearly one-quarter can’t access broadband at all,” reports Kentucky’s Governor Steve Beshear. “We’re going to fix that with an ambitious plan to extend broadband access that will initially focus on underserved areas in eastern Kentucky. The broadband project will help businesses, educators, and healthcare facilities share EMRs and first responders will be able to communicate in emergency situations.”
The broadband project also called “The Supper I-way” will eventually bring modern fiber infrastructure to all areas of the state and is being developed in partnership with the Center for Rural Development.
The project is estimated to cost about $100 million and it will take two to three years to build 3,000 miles of fiber infrastructure. The initial funding for the Next Generation broadband project is included in House Bill 235 and contains $30 million in bond funds, $20 million in federal funds, and $20 million of funds from private partners
The Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet released a Request for Information (RFI) to determine what vendors are interested in working with the Commonwealth to provide middle-mile fiber backbone infrastructure for high capacity network connectivity. The RFIs submitted will help the state develop the business case and determine the direction for future Requests for Proposals (RFP).
The RFI “Statewide Middle Mile Fiber Optic Infrastructure” solicitation #1400000009) is due May 7, 2014. The RFI is available at https://emars.ky.gov/online/vss/AltSelfService. For more information, email Sharon Purvis at Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org or call (502) 564-8096.