Monterey, KY receives $214,153 in federal broadband grants
Monterey, KY: Today, Congressman Geoff Davis and James Wilson, USDA Rural Development's general field representative, presented a check totaling $214,153 to the community of Monterey and SouthEast Telephone for the expansion of broadband. The Community Connect Grant is designated for the creation of vital broadband networks for rural communities that are currently without high-speed Internet service. The grant will create a technology center at Monterey Baptist Church equipped with 10 computer workstations to enable residents to access high-speed Internet free of charge. Moreover, the grant provides free broadband access to critical community facilities such as fire, law enforcement and emergency response services.
"I am proud to be here today to celebrate the City of Monterey's USDA Community Connect grant," stated Congressman Geoff Davis. "This grant will be instrumental in providing the citizens of Monterey with access to high-speed and reliable Internet resources. In addition, this grant will provide funding for a community computer lab. Computers and broadband Internet are fueling growth and development in our rural communities, and I am pleased that the City of Monterey will now have access to these important technologies."
Rural communities, like Monterey, often do not have broadband available. “USDA Rural Development’s $214,153 grant will be used to provide broadband service to citizens in Monterey and the surrounding area via DSL,” said Rural Development State Director Kenneth Slone. “This grant will provide citizens in this rural area of Owen County with the same service as urban areas of the state.”
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher said the Community Connect Grant gives Monterey access to the world of resources available on the Internet. “My administration is committed to full broadband deployment for every Kentucky community, and these grants support Kentucky's Prescription for Innovation to help ensure that no community is left behind,” he said.
Kentucky's Prescription for Innovation is a comprehensive plan to accelerate technology growth, particularly in the areas of broadband deployment and technology literacy and usage. The initiative seeks to blanket Kentucky with broadband service by the end of 2007.
Monterey Mayor Dennis Atha said the Community Connect Grant will continue to move Monterey forward. "The citizens of Monterey are very grateful for this grant, and we look forward to using the community technology center often at Monterey Baptist Church's Wilson Educational Building," Mayor Atha said. "Outside businesses will now see Monterey as a place for opportunity and technology."
Tony Watkins, pastor of Monterey Baptist Church where the community technology center will be housed, believes this grant will open a world of opportunity to the citizens of Monterey. "Monterey is a unique community with many talented and creative people who may take full advantage of the tools this grant will offer," Watkins said. "Beyond the benefit to the entrepreneur, this grant brings with it opportunities for people to access educational training. As a community, we are truly blessed to have received such a tremendous gift."
ConnectKentucky, Kentucky’s technology-based economic development partnership, developed the grant applications in partnership with SouthEast Telephone. Other federal, state and local government officials and agencies supported the grant process, including Kentucky's congressional delegation, the Department of Commercialization and Innovation in the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), Kentucky DataSeam and Kentucky Department for Workplace Investment in the Office of Employment and Training (OET).
ConnectKentucky reports that since 2004, statewide broadband availability and usage have increased by 45 percent and 46 percent respectively. An estimated 429,000 previously unserved households can now access broadband as private sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure has reached an unprecedented level in Kentucky. Currently, 87 percent of Kentucky homes can access broadband, on track to reach 100 percent availability in 2007. Home computer ownership has grown by 17 percent, and 116 counties are actively engaged in the eCommunity Leadership process to establish a nine sector technology growth plan for accelerating technology locally. In addition, the rate of Kentucky’s high-tech job growth is outpacing the national average.
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Note to editors: For more information about the 2006 Community Connect Broadband Grant Recipients, please see http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/commconnect.htm.
About ConnectKentucky: ConnectKentucky is leading the way into a new economy for Kentuckians. As Kentucky’s technology-based economic development partnership, ConnectKentucky is a public-private alliance of leaders from private industry, government and education. By leveraging the latest in technology and networking, ConnectKentucky is ensuring Kentucky remains the place of choice to work, live and raise a family. For more information, visit www.connectkentucky.org.