On Aug 31rst, a kickoff was held in Hazard for Kentucky WIRED, or the “KY I-Way” as Rep. Hal Rogers likes to call it. Access to reliable and affordable high speed Internet is a problem for many residents and businesses throughout central Appalachia. Kentucky, in fact, ranks near the bottom in the nation in average Internet speed. So it is not surprising that better broadband was a high priority for many participating in the early Shaping our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, workgroups. In January 2014, KY Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Rogers announced plans for constructing a fiber optic infrastructure, what’s known as the “middle mile,” to provide high speed Internet across the Commonwealth, starting in east Kentucky. Mimi Pickering reports on the kickoff where excitement mixed with concerns about how the “last mile” will connect to our communities and who will provide the service.
September 16, 2015