FRANKFORT – The Senate gave final passage to a measure this week to expand the state’s broadband access by codifying the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA). Created through an executive order, KCNA is responsible for managing the Commonwealth’s open-access broadband network known as KentuckyWired. KentuckyWired’s focus is to position Kentucky as a national leader in high-capacity internet services.
House Bill 343, sponsored by Rep. Larry Brown, R-Prestonsburg, will specifically help rural communities that do not have access to a broadband network.
“Through these changing times, internet access is imperative to the success of our rural communities,” said Rep. Brown. “We continue to work to diversify Eastern Kentucky’s economy, and KentuckyWired will not only allow that diversification to proceed, but grow our tourism, advance higher education, improve healthcare access, and better the overall lives of Kentuckians. I commend the General Assembly for swiftly passing this measure and supporting the advancements of Eastern Kentucky.”
Kentucky currently ranks near the bottom of national and international rankings of broadband capacity, putting our state at a major disadvantage for attracting jobs and expanding education. The KCNA, through KentuckyWired, will better the Commonwealth by promoting economic growth and drastically improving our quality of life.
The bill is headed to Governor Matt Bevin’s desk for his signature.