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KentuckyWired broadband hits 1,000 miles

February 23, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. — KentuckyWired, a broadband project aimed at installing highspeed fiber optic cable in every county in Kentucky, has now completed over 1,000 miles of its planned 3,000-mile network.

So far, 1,090 miles of fiber is either on aerial poles or in underground conduit, and 500 more miles are ready for fiber deployment in the coming weeks, according to a press release from the Kentucky Communications Network Authority.

Phillip Brown, executive director of the authority, says it is an important milestone.

“Obtaining the necessary pole attachment agreements to use over 70,000 utility poles owned by over 70 different entities was a slow process,” he said in the release. “Now, with all of those agreements finalized and makeready construction increasing, the actual process of hanging fiber cable is picking up rapidly.”

The project is currently on track for completion in October 2020, with portions of the network activated before that scheduled completion date.

“We expect to activate the first portion of the network in the first half of 2019, well ahead of the current schedule,” Brown said.

While Brown highlighted the progress that’s been made, the project has come under heavy criticism for being behind schedule and over budget. Portions of the statewide fiber-optic network were initially scheduled to go live in the summer of 2016. And state audit officials said last fall that the $324 million project, which was financed with bonds backed by the state’s credit, was about $100 million over budget.

Brown said although construction is taking place throughout the entire Commonwealth, the first portion to be completed will be the Cincinnati-Louisville-Lexington area because the major uplinks to the global internet are in Louisville and Cincinnati. Immediately afterward, the areas in Eastern Kentucky will be completed, he said.

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