UPDATE POSTED 5 P.M. AUG. 2, 2021
SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for reliable broadband service.
In Scott County, a new partnership looks to close the digital divide by giving every home there access to Wi-Fi.
“It’s gonna be Christmas in August for us,” Beth Smith said. She’s one of the more than 5,000 Scott County residents who will have access to reliable Wi-Fi for the first time.
“During COVID, we did homeschooling and virtual learning – very hard to do with a child who can’t keep connected,” Smith said.
It’s not just her granddaughter who was having trouble with online classes. Smith said after getting laid off during the pandemic, she decided to get her degree online, but spotty Wi-Fi made that difficult.
“In getting it, just to take the classes and to take the tests that are with the class, I wasn’t able to do that because my system was not fast enough,” Smith said.
She said she’s glad her troubles will soon be over. A 21-million dollar partnership between Scott County and Spectrum will give everyone in the county access to broadband.
“Scott County is going to be one of the first counties in Kentucky that’s going to have universal access to broadband,” Jason Keller, Spectrum’s VP of Government Affairs and Regulatory Strategy, said.
Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Covington said all homes will have Wi-Fi in the next year.
“We will be one of the best connected communities in the United States. Period,” Covington said. “The playing field will be leveled for people who don’t have that access. We’re just excited and proud.”
“It will mean a lot to a lot of us,” Smith said. “The freedom to do whatever you need to do that you shouldn’t have to worry about.
Besides school, Smith is looking forward to binge-watching a few Netflix series.
UPDATE POSTED 1 P.M. AUG. 2, 2021
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – Charter Communications, Inc. and Scott County announced Monday a $21 million agreement to bring gigabit internet connectivity to more than 5,300 rural, unserved homes and small businesses across the county.
The agreement, which includes a $3 million contribution from the county, was announced at the Scott County Courthouse, following unanimous approval last week from Scott County Fiscal Court and Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington.
Among the leaders saluting the agreement were Judge Covington, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, state Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer and state Rep. Phillip Pratt.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming months, following completion of permitting and utility-pole attachment applications. Once the project is complete, homes and businesses in the buildout area will have access to Charter’s Spectrum Internet®, which offers starting speeds of 200 Mbps with no modem fees, data caps or contracts, as well as plans with speeds available up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps).
Residents will also have access to Spectrum-branded Mobile, TV and Voice services.
“This is a great news for residents and businesses in unserved parts of Scott County that felt isolated without access to unlimited opportunities the internet provides. I am delighted with the cooperative process between Scott County and Charter Communications that makes this possible,” said Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington.
“Agriculture has changed dramatically in the past several years and having broadband access is vital to keeping pace in this new high-tech field,” said Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “I applaud Charter and Scott County for recognizing the needs of our rural areas and finding creative ways to ensure they have the tools they need to thrive.”
State Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer stated, “Scott County is growing at a fast pace and residents in the rural parts of our county need access to the same services that are available in our cities. This agreement between Charter and Scott County is welcome news to families and businesses that need access to fast, reliable broadband. Many thanks go to Judge-Executive Covington and the leadership team at Charter for working out an agreement that is going to benefit so many families in Scott County.”
“Expanding internet access to rural and unserved parts of Scott County is a key priority of mine, and it takes these types of public/private partnerships to make this happen,” added State Representative Phillip Pratt.
The agreement also calls for Charter to provide Spectrum WiFi access in downtown Georgetown and select parks, and for customers in both currently served and newly served areas of the county to have access to promotional offers for faster broadband tiers.
“Today’s announcement is the first step towards making Georgetown and Scott County a national broadband leader. I’m proud to be working with Judge Covington, Spectrum, and all of our local leaders to ensure everyone in this community has access to fast broadband.” said Mayor Tom Prather, City of Georgetown.
“This investment will help close the digital divide in Scott County and will bring gigabit broadband connectivity to thousands of residents and small businesses,” said Mark Dunford, Regional Vice President of Operations at Charter. “We look forward to building our network and serving new customers.”
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 12 NOON July 30, 2021
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – An agreement valued at $21 million between Charter Communications, Inc. and Scott County will bring gigabit internet connectivity to over 5,300 rural, unserved homes and small businesses across the county.
The project will provide Charter’s Spectrum Internet service to homes and businesses in the buildout area. The service offers starting speeds of 200 Mbps and plans with speeds up to 1 Gbps, or 1,000 Mbps. Scott County residents will also have access to Spectrum’s mobile, TV and voice services.
An event will be held at the Scott County Courthouse to celebrate the agreement on Aug. 2 at 9:30 a.m.