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About the CFR Project

The Broadband Outreach and Strategic Planning Project will develop a strategic plan to speed-up community efforts to build last mile infrastructure, and to advance community goals through increased broadband adoption and utilization.

Project Objectives

  • To build community-wide collaboration toward improved access to broadband solutions, improve and focus economic and community development strategies using broadband as a tool and establish Kentucky as a center of innovation for broadband adoption and utilization.
  • To facilitate and support the development of community broadband strategic plans in two communities around the state that aim to advance community goals through increased broadband adoption and utilization of broadband-enabled applications.

Project Activities

Develop a Broadband Strategic Planning Process Template for use by other communities in Kentucky. The template will:

  • Identify and incorporate best practices from around the state and country
  • Incorporate elements of the National Broadband Plan
  • Develop a broadband strategic planning process that is both structured and flexible
  • Measure outcomes

Engage Eastern Kentucky communities: community and business leaders, and elected officials. A total of two communities will be selected for demonstration projects.

Train the two selected communities. A project team (project manager, administrative assistant and trainers) will train and provide technical assistance on the planning process template, project organization and the development of strategic plans.

Produce two community broadband strategic plans to support and accelerate broadband adoption and utilization according to the interests, abilities, and needs of those communities.

Outcomes and Benefits

  • Increase rates of broadband adoption and utilization.
  • Build a model for 21st Century information-age communities (i.e., communities that make a conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within its region in significant and fundamental ways)
  • Build community-wide collaboration and cooperation toward improved access to broadband solutions, improved and focused economic and community development strategies employing telecommunications as a strategic tool and increased access to higher wage employment opportunities.
  • Expand employment opportunities through broadband adoption and utilization:
    • Provide avenues for entrepreneurial activities that may lead to self-sustaining employment
    • Access employment opportunities on a broader scale (regional, state or national)
    • Initiate and support training to upgrade information technology and communications skills and improve employability through cross training
    • Support distance learning with broadband capabilities
  • Realize economic benefits from the adoption and utilization of broadband, including:
    • Increased e-commerce
    • Telework/telecommuting
    • Increased consumption of broadband delivered content
    • Savings in healthcare as a result of increased use of Telemedicine/Telehealth
    • Improve government service delivery
    • Enhance public safety
    • Enhance connectivity for libraries, communities
    • Promote economic development
    • Enhance education, research capabilities
    • Create scalable network for future growth

Community Involvement

The project team will provide training and support to local project leaders for the selected communities. Local organizations and community leaders will collaborate in the process as partners with the project team.

Local participants may include key sectors in the process:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Public safety
  • Libraries
  • Health care
  • Business
  • Residents

Outcomes will be monitored and measured for use in other Kentucky communities.