Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Grant from Appalachian Regional Commission for Prescription for Innovation Initiative

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 07, 2005  
Contact Information:  Kim Phelps

ConnectKentucky to Receive ARC Funds for Statewide Broadband Initiative

Frankfort, Kentucky, July 7, 2005:  Today, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) granted $900,000 to ConnectKentucky in support of the statewide broadband initiative, Prescription for Innovation. The funds will be used to support ConnectKentucky’s efforts toward the expansion of broadband infrastructure and technology adoption throughout the Appalachian region. 
In October 2004, the Governor launched the Prescription for Innovation, a bold plan to blanket Kentucky with broadband technology by 2007.  This statewide broadband initiative brings together federal, state, and local government entities, universities and the private sector to create a culture of innovation and seeks to: 

  • Blanket Kentucky with high-speed Internet access, 
  • Encourage citizen use of computers and the Internet, and 
  • Provide every Kentucky community with an online presence for improving citizen services and promoting economic development.

The benefits of broadband Internet access and computer use in Kentucky are clear. Governor Fletcher’s commitment is to ensure that every community has the opportunity to realize those benefits and that no Kentuckian is forced to remain on the wrong side of the digital divide.  The Prescription for Innovation calls for a grass roots effort to work community by community to improve the technology health of our Commonwealth. ConnectKentucky is leading this effort in every Kentucky community through completion of the project.

To better understand the existing condition at the community level, ConnectKentucky, in partnership with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, has generated a map-based inventory of Kentucky’s existing broadband service infrastructure, creating the most sophisticated and comprehensive broadband technology maps of any state in the nation.  These maps illustrate where gaps need to be filled and also provide each community with an economic development asset for demonstrating where current infrastructure exists.

In addition, local technology leadership teams are being created to begin addressing the gaps illustrated by the maps and to begin to address all “Five A’s” towards accelerating technology in Kentucky: Availability, Awareness, Applications, Affordability, and Adoption.  Ultimately, Governor Fletcher’s Prescription for Innovation strives to create a statewide environment where citizens, businesses, and governments are using technology towards greater opportunity.

About ConnectKentucky:
ConnectKentucky is an alliance of technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities working together to accelerate technology in the Commonwealth.  The ConnectKentucky partnership is chaired by Mr. John R. Hall, the retired Chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc. and Commerce Secretary W. James Host.

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