Press Release Date:  Monday, May 02, 2005  
Contact Information:  Kim Phelps

Community Technology Assessments Now Underway

Lexington, Kentucky: The ConnectKentucky Steering Committee met Monday, April 25, 2005 to unveil the Phase I maps of current broadband coverage in Kentucky. “Today is a great day for the growth of technology in the Commonwealth,” stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. "Technology is a critical economic development component that will help Kentucky grow and prosper in the coming years. Creating a first-of-its kind inventory of high-speed Internet service by using GIS maps makes Kentucky a leader in the push for full broadband deployment by 2007. The maps illustrate that we have much work to do, and they are a powerful economic development tool for every community across  Kentucky, allowing local leaders to work with the private sector to more strategically plan for technology growth.”

According to Governor Fletcher’s Prescription for Innovation, the maps will be used along with other demand and supply-side incentives towards full broadband  deployment, dramatically increased residential use of computers, and a meaningful  online presence for every community in Kentucky.

"Understanding where we are and how far we must go is important to the success of Governor Fletcher’s technology initiative," stated Jim Host, Commerce Secretary and Co-Chair of the ConnectKentucky Steering Committee. "Now is the time for citizens, providers, and local leaders to come together to realize the benefits of expanding technology."

In addition to the maps, the Steering Committee also announced the release of the Community Benchmarking Tool. Upon completion of the Community Benchmarking Tool, communities will better understand their current technology usage and adoption rates in nine different sectors including education, agriculture, business, and tourism.  With this information, community leaders and providers can more appropriately plan for the growth of technology in each community.

According to John Hall, retired Chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc. and ConnectKentucky Co-Chair, “The community assessment is key in helping to better understand technology usage and to set goals for the future. Understanding the needs of the community is the first step towards increasing awareness and usage of computers and Internet-related technology in our communities.

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