Thanks to Bernadine Joselyn for sending me Wiring rural America, a article published in the Economist last month. I was so excited to get it because I had actually been meaning to learn more about ConnectKentucky.
I learned about ConenctKentucky (a little bit) while listening to a recent senate committee meeting. So, it’s an example that policy makers know about – and one they think works very well.
According to the ConnectKentucky president, 98 percent of Kentucky will have access to inexpensive broadband by the end of the year. It sounds as if one of their first steps was to map interest and demand for broadband access. So smart in that a) helps you build a business plan and b) helps provide education that builds demand.
Kentucky is a shining star – and apparently they are bridging out to provide the same services to West Virginia and Tennessee. The article goes on to say that the rest of the US has not been as successful and one of the reasons is that some of the money intended to support rural broadband through the RUS (Rural Utilities Service) has gone to suburban areas that didn’t really need it.
I’m sure that’s true I’ve certainly heard it before – but I think/hope that the FCC and the RUS are starting to recognize the potential of that problem and are trying to be more careful about who gets the funding. Mostly I enjoyed the article for the brief description of ConnectKentucky.