Home » Over $1 billion in federal funds coming to support high-speed internet expansion in Kentucky

Over $1 billion in federal funds coming to support high-speed internet expansion in Kentucky

State’s broadband equity, access and deployment program proposal receives federal approval

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 17, 2024) – Gov. Andy Beshear joined federal officials to announce that Kentucky’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program proposal has been approved, which allows the state to request access to over $1 billion in federal “Internet for All” funding to expand high-speed internet.

In June 2023, Beshear announced the state secured nearly $1.1 billion in BEAD funding to bring affordable, reliable high-speed internet service to every Kentuckian. The award is the largest public investment in high-speed internet in the commonwealth’s history.

“High-speed internet isn’t just the infrastructure of the future, it’s the infrastructure of right now. It’s something that everybody wants, and it needs to be both accessible and affordable,” Beshear said. “That’s why the BEAD program is transformational. It’s a chance for everybody to chase their dreams – whether that’s applying for a new job or applying to college, getting the health care they need to feel their best, or starting a business in a rural area, but knowing they can sell their product across the country, all because they have high-speed internet.”

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) approved Volume 2 of Kentucky’s proposal, which outlines the commonwealth’s plans for funding deployment, stakeholder engagement, local coordination, workforce initiatives, affordability and more.

Volume 1 was approved in March 2024 and detailed existing high-speed internet funding, unserved and underserved locations, community anchor institutions and the challenge process, which allowed internet service providers, local governments and nonprofits to submit corrections to maps of which locations have high-speed internet access. With these approvals, the commonwealth can now select subgrantees and request access to the federal funding.

By June 2025, Kentucky must submit a final proposal to NTIA that reports which subgrantees were chosen and how the state will ensure service to all unserved and underserved locations. Once the state receives approval on the final proposal, it can access the remaining BEAD funding.

The approved subgrantees will build the infrastructure needed to connect unserved (no internet access or under 25/3 Mbps and underserved (access under 100/20 Mbps) locations identified during the BEAD challenge process, prioritizing unserved locations first.

The BEAD program is part of an unprecedented $42.5 billion federal investment in high-speed internet connectivity across the U.S. from the federal, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.