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Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced an initial round of $203 million in investments to expand broadband service as part of an ambitious effort to close Kentucky's digital divide.
The investments will be split into 46 grant awards to 12 internet service providers and local governments spanning more than 30 counties. The infusion will deliver reliable internet to more than 34,000 Kentucky families and businesses, the governor said. Beshear said he thinks it ranks as the "single-largest provision of funding" for high-speed internet in Kentucky history.
"Everybody needs it," he told a news conference. "Everybody deserves to have access to it."
The investments include $89.1 million from the state's share of federal pandemic aid that state lawmakers earmarked for broadband expansion, Beshear said. Grant recipients pledged to match the state's contributions, raising total investments beyond $203 million.
BIDEN SAYS HIGH SPEED INTERNET IS ‘NOT A LUXURY’, BUT A ‘NECESSITY’ AS ADMIN ROLLS OUT NEW PROGRAM