KentuckyWired is a state-run project constructing over 3,000 miles of high-speed, high-capacity fiber optic cable in every county in Kentucky. The KentuckyWired network is a "middle mile" project connecting government offices, universities, community colleges, state police posts, state parks, and other government institutions to the global internet. Anywhere along its path, Internet Service Providers will be able to connect to the network and bring faster, more reliable internet to every corner of the Commonwealth. Cellular providers will also be able to connect to KentuckyWired and build more cell phone towers throughout the state. Its 288-strand fiber optic cable will serve the needs of government agencies, universities, businesses, and citizens for decades to come.
KentuckyWired will help pay for its construction in two ways: 1) KentuckyWired will save the Commonwealth millions of dollars by owning its own middle mile network rather than paying private companies, and 2) By leasing half of its fiber strands to private companies.
Kentucky is the first state in the nation to build an open-access fiber optic cable network in every county.
KCNA Board Meeting
The Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNCA) Board met Thursday, January 16, 2020 in the Capitol Building. Secretary of the governor's executive cabinet and Chairman of the KCNA Board, J. Michael Brown, introduced KCNA's new executive director Jamie Link.
COO Mike Hayden, General Counsel Doug Hendrix, and CFO Steve Murphy presented an update on the construction and financial status of the KentuckyWired project.
Hayden said the fiber construction is approximately 80-85% complete, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of October of this year. Doug Hendrix informed the new board members about the contracts involved in the project, and described some of the delays the project has undergone. CFO Steve Murphy explained the financial operations of KentuckyWired.
The Board then went into closed session for approximately 30 minutes to discuss potential litigation against KCNA, after which the meeting was adjourned.
The entire open session can be seen on the KCNA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyWired
Link Named New Executive Director of KentuckyWired
FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 8, 2020) – Jamie Link has been named Executive Director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA) – the state agency overseeing the KentuckyWired project. During a special meeting Wednesday, Link was voted in and hired by the KCNA Board. He replaces Interim Director Deck Decker.
Link brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the agency. Previously he has served as the Finance Director for UK Student and Academic Life, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Steve Beshear, and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.
Link says, "I am honored to join the team at the Kentucky Communications Network Authority and look forward to advancing the project for world-class service to every area of the Commonwealth and to our citizens. I truly believe the projects will be transformational to our state and establish Kentucky as a national leader in broadband access for economic development, education, healthcare, and countless other purposes."
"After reviewing reports from the auditor and the legislative committee, it is clear that the KentuckyWired project needs an experienced project manager," said Executive Cabinet Secretary and KCNA Board chair, J. Michael Brown. "From his executive posts at the University of Kentucky and throughout state government to his successful management of Kentucky's World Equestrian Games, Jamie has demonstrated he has the skills needed to lead this project. By working together, we are going to expand Kentuckians' access to broadband and move our Commonwealth forward."
KentuckyWired Begins Activation of Government Offices
Frankfort, KY (December 6, 2019) - KentuckyWired, The Commonwealth's high-speed fiber optic cable network, activated its first site Thursday, December 5, when the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) office in Owenton transitioned their services to the KentuckyWired network.
Deck Decker, Interim Director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA), which oversees the KentuckyWired project, said the transition went smoothly. "We're very happy with the results of this first real use of the network. Sites all over the Commonwealth will be coming on line now beginning with those in the northern section known as Ring 1A."
Decker said all rings should be up and running by October of 2020. He added that KentuckyWired's fiber optic network will bring speeds five times faster than what government sites now have.
According to Deck Decker, construction of the 3,000-mile network is over two-thirds complete. "Work is ongoing throughout the entire state, and fiber construction is now complete in Ring 1A, 1B, and 2. And Ring 5 will be finished this month," he said.
The KentuckyWired network will connect state offices and institutions, state police posts, state parks, and state veterans homes in all 120 counties throughout the entire Commonwealth. Anywhere along its path, private companies can connect to KentuckyWired and lease its fiber.
The KentuckyWired project will help internet companies extend service to more rural areas, attract businesses to build in Kentucky, strengthen the capabilities of law enforcement and first responders, and enhance healthcare and education opportunities.
Data Begins Flowing in Ring 1A
Data traffic began flowing through a major segment of Commonwealth's fiber optic cable network, KentuckyWired, on Wednesday, October 23. Although cable construction of Ring 1A was complete in June, the flow of data could not begin until work was complete inside the main data base centers in Frankfort and Florence. Data traffic is now flowing between those data base centers in a 2-week testing stage. Ring 1A is the Louisville-to-Lexington-to-Cincinnati segment of the network, and is the first of six rings to be completed.
Deck Decker, Interim Director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the state agency overseeing KentuckyWired, says, "Government sites will soon begin lighting up along 1A, which means state offices will have faster service." In addition, says Decker, "Half of the fiber in the 288-strand cable will be available for lease to private companies, helping to pay for the construction and maintenance of the network."
Completion of fiber construction in Rings 1B and 2 in Eastern Kentucky was announced at the 2019 SOAR Summit in Pikeville on September 6. Independent certification of sites is still ongoing in those areas and is expected to be completed very soon. According to Decker, those rings should be "fully operational before Christmas."
KentuckyWired is a state-run project constructing high-speed, high-capacity fiber optic cable in every county in Kentucky. The KentuckyWired network is a "middle mile" project connecting government offices, universities, community colleges, state police posts, state parks, and other government institutions to the global internet.
The entire 3,000-mile KentuckyWired fiber optic cable network is scheduled to be completed by October of 2020.
For the full September 2019 Update click here.