Fiscal court hopes to accept further broadband proposal in next 30 days

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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In May, it was announced that approximately 2,400 homes and businesses in the rural areas of Clark County would be receiving access to high-speed, broadband internet.

This was announced at the Clark County Courthouse in collaboration with Spectrum/Charter Communications, with $5 billion budgeted for the project.

However, it was known that more work needed to be done.

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“There were several areas in my district that hadn’t been addressed yet,” said Magistrate Dan Konstantopoulos.

Fortunately, plans continue to be underway.

Though it was not known until after his passing in October of 2021, late Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace had helped initiate a regional approach to address the problems involving internet access with fellow counties, including Woodford, Jessamine, Fayette, Scott, and Bourbon.

Two committees – one featuring both Konstantopoulos and Magistrate Chris Davis – exist to evaluate an RFP, or Request for Proposal,  that would grant internet access throughout the regions. Discussions have occurred for several months with multiple providers, such as AT&T and AltaFiber.

Though considering several points of interest, the goal is to settle on a plan sooner rather than later, with money from ARPA funds being used in partnership with the chosen provider.

“We have been meeting for the past several months. The meetings with the providers have gone very well. We’re still in talks and negotiations”, Konstantopoulos said. “Hopefully, plans [are] to set a recommendation to the Fiscal Court within the next thirty days.”

The need for high-speed broadband internet became particularly noticeable as people were often isolated during Covid-19 shutdowns.

“The pandemic and the closure of schools really showed how limited we were on Internet accessibility in not just Clark County, but all over the state,” Konstantopoulos said. “Because of that, it made it very hard for children … To do their schoolwork, do remote learning, and those types of things.”

The fiscal court also hopes it meets expectations for modern technology.

“Everything is run off the internet now,” Konstantopoulos said. “We need to make sure we have the best and most reliable access in Clark County not just to attract our businesses, but to give our citizens an option to connect better for day-to-day activities.”