VANCEBURG – The Lewis County Fiscal Court received an update on upcoming fiber optic internet from Kentucky Wired.
Manager of Government and Resident Relations Holly Hopkins Scoville gave an update on the Kentucky Wired project, a statewide effort by Frankfort to bring fiber optic internet to every corner of the state.
“The Kentucky Wired project was announced in 2015 under Governor Beshear and Congressman Rogers,” Scoville said. “Governor Bevin and Congressman Rogers re-announced the project in 2016.”
Scoville said that a lot of people don’t realize that there has been a lot of work done since that time.
“A lot of the work has been engineering work taking place on computers that you couldn’t see where we’ve laid out where all these lines are going to go,” Scoville said.
According to Scoville, once this project is complete, Kentucky will be the first state in the country with such a major fiber optic connectivity.
“Before we started this project, U.S. News ranked us as 48 in the nation for fiber optic cable,” Scoville said. “Just two weeks ago we were already up to 36 because of what’s already happened in this project.”
Scoville said Kentucky will be number four in the United States when the project is complete.
“I can tell you that it is huge when you can offer something like this to companies that are thinking of relocating in your area,” Scoville said.
According to Scoville, 90 percent of the project will be used with existing poles, with 10 precent being underground. Scoville said that the 10 percent underground will mainly be in towns and cities.
“Half of this will remain with the commonwealth for government-to-government services,” Scoville said. “One hundred twenty-two strands will remain with them. The other half is an open access network, allowing any third party provider to attach to this and be a service provider.”
Scoville said this part is called the backbone, or the second mile of the project.
“What most people want to talk about is the third mile, which is how it gets into your homes and offices,” Scoville said. “This is one of the things your county can have a discussion about. That decision will be made locally.”
Scoville said that there have been several delays in the project, but now they are preparing to hit the ground running.
“By the end of the summer we will have 150 crews out working to put up fiber,” Scoville said.
Lewis County is in what is called Ring Four out of six.
“Economic development, your school system, healthcare – there are so many things you can upgrade with fiber,” Scoville said.
Scoville said the conclusion date for the project in Lewis County is May 2020.
“That doesn’t mean it won’t be done before that but that is the final date for having everything done,” Scoville said.
In other news:
— Flinders Cemetary Road, Crosspointe Road and Ribolt Epworth Spur were added into the county road system by the fiscal court.
— Fiscal court accepted a bid for Tollesboro Fire Department sirens from Sentry Sirens for $16,246. The bid is paid for by a Homeland Security grant.
— Applied for three more Homeland Security grants for a warning siren for Garrison Fire Department, Search and Rescue equipment and antennae and repeaters for 9-1-1 services.