Connecting Eastern Kentucky
CLOSING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
The Time Is Now
Guiding Principles , Objectives, and Goals
SOAR, through partnership with the City of Ashland, the City of Catlettsburg, and Boyd County, is exploring the feasibility of community-owned fiber optic broadband infrastructure in Eastern Kentucky.
The Covid-19 pandemic painfully revealed last-mile connectivity gaps across the region. With a record amount of state and federal funding available, the time to solve this problem is now.
Local communities must understand the process and what is needed to access this funding and then how to deploy it to unserved and underserved areas.
Primary goals of this exploratory project include the following:
Forming broadband/fiber committees and how to build strong, local coalitions
Educating local officials and community leaders around broadband grant programs and the requirements for submitting competitive applications
Preparing examples of network designs, engineering analyses, legal frameworks, and financial modeling for communities considering applying for state or federal grant applications related to last-mile deployment
How to build strong, local coalitions focused on improving community broadband
The desired result is an Eastern Kentucky where functional, reliable, and affordable Internet access is available county-wide.
Please take three minutes and complete the Eastern Kentucky Community Broadband Survey.