Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Kentucky receives additional $3.2 million in stimulus dollars to continue broadband outreach
Governor appoints Phil Baughn to lead Administration’s access efforts
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that Kentucky has been awarded an additional $3.2 million in grants for broadband mapping and outreach programs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Kentucky has already received awards from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service for improving broadband access. This grant, combined with those prior awards and matching public and private funds contributes to a total statewide broadband investment of more than $396 million.
“Broadband means jobs, and this grant to enhance broadband services will help boost economic growth and create jobs -- the priority of my administration,” said Gov. Beshear. “In addition, it will bridge gaps in technology and education, as well as improve healthcare and public safety by boosting communication efficiency.”
Gov. Beshear has appointed Phil Baughn, commissioner of the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) and Chief Information Officer (CIO), to manage the broadband infrastructure investments statewide to ensure that Commonwealth resources are used collaboratively by state and local agencies. He will also promote regional broadband partnerships that will encourage sustainable adoption of broadband services.
Funds will be used to continue statewide mapping, outreach and technical assistance to underserved areas. A comprehensive map of broadband availability will be used to plan for the expansion of Internet services in areas of the state that do not currently have broadband or are underserved.
A statewide planning effort for investment in broadband access is a priority for the Beshear administration.
In January 2010, Kentucky joined a nationwide effort to identify and map existing broadband coverage and access, a critical step toward expanding broadband Internet access and spurring economic growth. At that time, NTIA awarded COT approximately $1.6 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Kentucky, bringing the total grant award to nearly $2.1 million.
This new award brings the state’s mapping and outreach total to more than $5.3 million as part of the national State Broadband Data and Development grant program.
In order to ensure the continued success of the Commonwealth’s efforts, Baughn will lead the statewide effort to map and promote broadband outreach and development. Baughn brings a career in both public and private sectors that will facilitate the ongoing success of Kentucky’s outreach programs.
“In his role as CIO, Phil has served the Commonwealth with great innovation and foresight,” said Jonathan Miller, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. “With his background in information technology and business, we are fortunate that he has agreed to lead Kentucky in our quest for affordable, statewide broadband services.”
“The new partners and programs that will be realized with the assistance of ARRA funding will have an immediate impact on our economy, and will also determine how Kentucky is able to compete in the long term,” said Baughn. “The future of the Commonwealth will continue to rely more and more on technology-based access and interconnections to all manner of programs and services. Our task at hand is considerable and I’m honored to have been selected to begin this new effort.”
Baughn will leave his current post as CIO and commissioner of COT to manage Kentucky’s broadband stimulus awards in the least costly, most-effective manner possible. Finance and Administration Cabinet Deputy Secretary Lori Flanery will oversee the day-to-day operations of COT on an interim basis.