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Louisville Risking $5.4 Million On Kentucky’s Delayed Broadband System

May 2, 2017

Even though Kentucky’s statewide middle mile broadband system, KentuckyWired, is behind schedule, Wired says that Louisville, Ky. Mayor Greg Fischer has decided he wants to risk $5.4 million to connect to it. (Late last month, the Lexington Herald Leader reported that not only will KentuckyWired not “be done nearly as soon as officials first announced … it’s not clear when construction will be done.”)

The mayor made his announcement as part of his budget for 2018.

According to Wired, while “Louisville’s fiber optic cable network would stretch across roughly 96 miles in Jefferson County … half [$2.7 million] of the $5.4 million estimated cost will cover only a small portion — about 6.6 miles — of the cable line.” That’s because a portion of the project falls outside of KentuckyWired’s planned path. Wired notes that KentuckyWired “plans don’t include West Louisville, so the city is in talks with Macquarie Capital,” the state’s private partner in KentuckyWired about how to finance cable in that part of the city. Wired also notes, “Because it is not part of KentuckyWired, the city will have to pay for the engineering, construction and other expense” associated with that part of the project.

The remaining $2.7 million will be used “to run the cable in the rest of the Jefferson County in tandem with KentuckyWired.”

Louisville already is served by private providers. According to Wired, “AT&T already offers the high-speed internet through its AT&T Fiber service in parts of Jefferson County” and “hopes to expand its coverage area.” Additionally, according to Broadband Now:

  • Approximately 99 percent of Louisville residents have access to broadband service from multiple providers; and
  • In Jefferson County, where Louisville resides, only about 800 people, or 0.1 percent of the population, do not have access to 25 mbps wired broadband.