Close to 2,400 homes and small businesses in rural Clark County will have access to high-speed, broadband internet by next year.
The announcement was made at the Clark County Courthouse in Winchester Friday by representatives from Spectrum/Charter Communications.
“On behalf of Charter/Spectrum Communications and the 3,000 employees that call Kentucky home, I want to thank you all for welcoming us here today and giving us this opportunity,” said the company’s group vice president for government affairs, Marva Johnson.
Along with well wishes, Johnson brought good news about the project.
“Construction is already underway and we are going to be deploying a fiber optic network that is going to be fiber to the premises and that expansion project will include gigabyte service to all of the homes that we are connecting,” Johnson said.
The project is part of a larger initiative.
“The build-out is part of a broader commitment, it is a historic commitment and nothing of this size has been accomplished in our nation as we understand it to be as it relates to broadband,” Johnson said. “We will be building out service to over a million homes across 24 states in the United States. The Federal Communications Commission and Charter are committing $5 billion to this effort.”
Spectrum/Charter is providing $3.8 billion of the funds. The FCC is matching project funds and Kentucky will receive $58 million to assist with the project. Spectrum/Charter will contribute $100 million to the Kentucky effort.
Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham pointed out how much the announcement would mean to his predecessor.
“This is a great announcement for our community and it is going to benefit a lot of our folks. This was a particular passion for Judge [Chris] Pace who passed away back in October … I know this was a particular passion of his and I felt that was appropriate to mention here today,” Branham said.
State Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R) was pleased with the announcement.
“This is really exciting to have Spectrum here today and investing in our community,” Alvarado said. “I took a look at the map here to the left and you can see all the red area, how ground that is going to cover. A lot of our rural constituents in the southeastern and eastern Clark County which is sometimes really tough for them to get access, so it is exciting to see that.”
The senator also noted the project is important to a generation who consider broadband internet vital to their daily lives and how that in the 21st century that “connectivity to others, to people in our own community, throughout our state and throughout our country” is crucial.