Governor Fletcher Demonstrates Opportunity for Wireless High-speed Internet in Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 06, 2005  
Contact Information:  Kim Phelps

Frankfort, Kentucky, May 6, 2005: As crowds descend on Frankfort for Kentucky Derby festivities, they will be greeted with a new amenity: wireless high-speed Internet access. Governor Fletcher has launched a demonstration project to make some state buildings and state-owned spaces more user-friendly for visitors. Wireless high-speed Internet access (wireless broadband) will be available to computer-using visitors in the following areas: the Capital Plaza Tower, 24th floor; the Transportation building, first floor; the Old Capitol Annex and grounds, the Frankfort Convention Center, the Kentucky History Museum, and the Capitol building and grounds. 

“My Prescription for Innovation has called for full broadband deployment by 2007, increased use of computers, and improved online services,” remarked Governor Fletcher.  “We understand that wireless access is key to achieving these goals and this project demonstrates the ease of deploying and using a wireless high-speed network.”

“In order for Kentucky’s more rural areas to truly realize the benefits of technology, including e-health, e-government, online education and entertainment, wireless broadband will be a necessary component of statewide high-speed infrastructure.”

The demonstration project is the result of a joint effort between the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) and ConnectKentucky. The project utilizes 802.11g wi-fi technology from Vivato and GeoWireless. Similar wireless technology has been used in rural Walla Walla County, Washington to cover 3,700 square miles. The technology holds great promise for covering Kentucky’s least dense areas towards meeting Governor Fletcher’s goal of full broadband deployment by 2007.

Jim Host, Commerce Cabinet Secretary and ConnectKentucky Co-Chair said, “In order for Kentucky’s rural communities to realize the economic development benefits of Governor Fletcher’s Prescription for Innovation, we have to use any and all types of broadband technology available to us. This project demonstrates that wireless broadband is indeed a viable option.”

Wireless broadband can also help meet the needs of Kentucky’s future workforce, according to COT Commissioner, Mike Inman. “While this wireless project provides an amenity for visitors to state properties, it also demonstrates the potential for providing high-speed Internet access for an increasingly mobile state workforce, said Commissioner Inman. “State employees need broadband access wherever they are in Kentucky, and wireless broadband makes that feasible for our most rural areas.”