ConnectKentucky
ConnectKentucky Announces Summer Research Series

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, June 14, 2006  
Contact Information:  Kasey Joyner
270-781-4320
 


Frankfort, Ky. – Today, ConnectKentucky's Research and Public Policy Group announced the launch of the ConnectKentucky Summer Research Series: Kentucky Technology Trends 2006.  Each installment of the twelve part series will highlight an interesting trend in Kentucky technology use as identified in the Kentucky Technology Assessment conducted by ConnectKentucky. The comprehensive assessment highlights Kentuckians’ use of computers, the Internet and technology in general. The survey involved nearly 11,000 Kentuckians representing each of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

For 12 weeks, the Summer Research Series will post its findings related to the following topics:

o  Tech use among Kentucky regions (economic regions, Area Development Districts, and Congressional districts)
o  Broadband adoption and barriers to use among Kentucky adults
o  Tech use among urban versus rural counties
o  Telecommuting
o  Online application use among Kentucky adults
o  Tech use by educational attainment
o  Tech use by age
o  Tech use by income level
o  Tech use by race/ethnicity
o  Tech use by employment status
o  Tech use among men versus women
o  Tech use by marital status and children

The first release of the series, “Technology Use among Kentucky Regions,” examines Kentuckians' use of technology among various regional grids, including economic regions, Area Development Districts and congressional districts. The research studies can be downloaded from ConnectKentucky’s website, www.connectkentucky.org.

The findings of the study will help ConnectKentucky and its partners localize efforts to improve technology availability and adoption among Kentuckians.  According to Laura Taylor, Director of Research for ConnectKentucky, “Technology adoption and build out are mutual catalysts. Increased usage of technology among Kentucky residents will provide more incentive for providers to expand their services. Similarly, expanded services will encourage increased usage.”

ConnectKentucky's Summer Research Series will help provide an informed “road map” for fulfilling and expanding Kentucky’s Prescription for Innovation. The 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 maintains four key tenets for impacting statewide economic development:

•  Full broadband deployment by the end of 2007;
•  Dramatically improved use of computers and the Internet by all Kentuckians;
•  A meaningful online presence for all Kentucky communities, to improve citizen services and promote economic development through e-government, virtual education, online healthcare; and
•  eCommunity Leadership Teams in every county - local leaders assembled to develop and implement technology growth strategies for local government, business and industry, education, healthcare, agriculture, libraries, tourism, and community-based organizations.

Over the course of implementation of the Prescription for Innovation, statewide broadband availability and usage have increased by 36% and 45% respectively. An estimated 352,000 previously unserved households can now access broadband as private sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure has reached an unprecedented level in Kentucky. Currently, 82% of Kentucky homes can access broadband, on track to reach 100% availability in 2007.  Home computer ownership has grown by 17%, and more than 100 counties are actively engaged in the eCommunity Leadership process to establish a nine sector technology growth plan for accelerating technology locally.  Moreover, the rate of Kentucky’s high-tech job growth is outpacing the national average.

ConnectKentucky is implementing the Prescription for Innovation initiative with operational support from the Governor’s Office for Local Development, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Department for Commercialization and Innovation in the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. Additional state support is provided by the Finance and Administration Cabinet and the Education Cabinet.

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. 


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About ConnectKentucky: Recently named as the nation’s top innovator in economic development by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, ConnectKentucky is leading the way into a new economy for Kentuckians. As an independent technology-based economic development organization, ConnectKentucky works with businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate technology in the Commonwealth.  For more information, visit www.connectkentucky.org.