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Better Internet access is coming to thousands of Kentuckians with an investment of more than $180 million

Kentucky will receive more than $182 million in federal money to fund projects that would provide reliable broadband access to areas of the state without high-speed Internet.

The money will go to infrastructure projects that will eventually connect about 45,000 homes in Kentucky, said Gov. Andy Beshear, who announced the funds Thursday at a news conference alongside federal officials from the U.S. Treasury.

“A lot of these areas are not served right now,” Beshear said. “And they need this technology to take advantage of all the great opportunities ahead of us. Expanding fast and reliable Internet access will improve the lives of Kentucky families and support our future economic growth.”

The funding — from the Federal Capital Projects Fund — will go to the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund, a preexisting state program that has already dispersed money to broadband projects through competitive grants.

“Rural areas and urban areas can and we hope they will require it,” Beshear said.

Adding to Thursday’s announcement, the state has made nearly $600 million in funds available for broadband expansion since June, Beshear said. The money is available to service providers and local governments to build broadband infrastructure projects.

Internet service providers that secure a portion of the funding announced Thursday will participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, a Federal Communications Commission program that subsidizes monthly Internet costs for low-income households, according to a press release announcing the funds.

“This is a lifeline that can improve our lives, our standard of living,” Beshear said. “And it’s as important as any road or bridge out there. So a better internet is just a critical part of our plan to build a better Kentucky.”

Federal funds for capital projects were created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. The $10 billion fund has sent money to 30 states since June. In the same call, federal officials also announced broadband funding allocations for Nevada, Alabama and Texas.

This story may be updated.

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