First phase of KentuckyWired project completed

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The first phase of the Commonwealths high-speed fiber optic network, known as KentuckyWired, is complete.

Governor Matt Bevin and Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers made the announcement Friday.

The first phase of the project includes Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. A key segment from Lexington to Somerset has also been completed, allowing for expansion of the network into Eastern Kentucky, which is the next phase of the project.

KentuckyWired was started in 2015 by former Governor Steve Beshear. It has been plagued from the beginning by delays and cost overrruns. The project is nearly four years behind schedule and delays have already cost taxpayers a projected $96 million.

But Bevins and Rogers say the challenges that delayed construction in the beginning have been resolved and the project is moving at a faster pace now.

Rogers noted that the completed 80-mile segment between Lexington and Somerset shows the significant progress.

It is estimated that 23.4 million rural Americans lack broadband internet access.

When the KentuckyWired project is completed, Kentucky will be the first state in the nation to build an open-access fiber optic cable network in every county.

Project leaders say KentuckyWired is still on track for the 2020 scheduled completion date.

Categories: News, State News

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