ConnectKentucky a model for other states

As states are applying for the $7.2 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act set aside for broadband projects across the country, many are looking to Kentucky as a model.

Thanks to a public-private partnership called ConnectKentucky, 95 percent of the state has access to high speed Internet connections. The organization achieved such a high level of connectivity by mapping out the broadband availability throughout the state and leveraging partnerships between state governments and broadband providers.

Brian Mefford, former head of ConnectKentucky and now the CEO of ConnectedNation – the national organization based on ConnectKentucky’s model – said:

“Kentucky served as a great microcosm for the broadband challenge across the country. Suddenly areas that were underserved… became a thriving community.”

ConnectKentucky has allowed for such success stories as Dr. Raymond Wells who was able to open up a coalfield clinic that serves over 1000 people, using high speed Internet video conferences with patients.  Wells said:

“At this point, we’re so happy with it, we want to keep expanding. We’ve caught things like prostate cancer and saved lives.”

 

Kentucky a model for broadband expansion (Chicago Tribune)