Expanding broadband internet access across rural Kentucky has been a priority during Gov. Andy Beshear’s tenure, Meghan Sandfoss, the executive director of the Office of Broadband Development shared their progress in expanding fast internet access at Monday’s Pennyrile Area Development District meeting.
Sandfoss talked about her office’s 2022 inception the work they have don’t so far, as well as what is set to come. Sandfoss says in 2022 they announced their first round of funding for internet expansion which cost around $90 million for 47 projects in around 34,000 locations in the state.
In the first round of funding, Sandfoss says some of the funding went to locations in the Pennyrile region, but more broadband internet funds are designated for the region in a second round of funding.
Sandfoss says the progression of their projects depends on the funding they receive from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. However, Sandfoss says she is optimistic because they were able to secure around $1.1 billion from the BEAD program which was awarded on a need basis.
In regards to expanding broadband internet, Sandfoss says some of their highest cost project areas surround Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
More information about the office’s broadband internet expansion project can be found at broadband.ky.gov.