What They Are Saying in Kentucky

Voices across Kentucky recognize the impact that fair, transparent utility pole processes can have on expanding broadband deployment across our state – helping families, students, businesses, farms and more get connected.

These are just a few of the letters that leaders and organizations across the state have submitted to the Kentucky Public Service Commission on this issue:

“As a former educator, I know how important it is for students to have continuity in their learning. If students do not have proper access to modern-day educational tools on the Internet, they are — at a great risk of falling behind. Given the pandemic, which forced many schools to adopt remote learning, it is critical that we take every step necessary to secure reliable services.

I urge the Public Service Commission to improve access to utility poles and ensure a fair distribution of costs to create a more streamlined, cost-effective process of attaching broadband infrastructure to existing poles. These steps will be pivotal for Franklin County and many other counties throughout the Commonwealth that are in great need of sound Internet connectivity.”

Derrick W. Graham
State Representative, 57th District

“For the larger part of this year, our focus as legislators has been on meeting the needs of Kentuckians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Lincoln and Pulaski Counties, I’ve heard from my constituents about the challenges they’re facing as business owners, educators, farmers and healthcare professionals. One underlying challenge that ties each of these groups together is insufficient broadband connectivity.

The PSC can help reduce barriers to broadband deployment through their current proceeding on utility pole attachments. When connecting homes in rural areas, building out services is often costly and overly-complex. Improving access to utility poles is a key piece of the solution to mitigate unnecessary obstacles to pole access.”

David Meade
Speaker Pro-Tem, Kentucky House of Representatives

“Now, more than ever, it is vital that Kentucky’s families and businesses have access to broadband service. Unfortunately, too many in rural Kentucky lack access to basic internet service that would allow students to complete assignments, ensure patients can connect with doctors via telehealth, and connect businesses with their customers. It is critical that we do everything possible to ensure our rural families have broadband access and, like the General Assembly, the Kentucky Public Service Commission can play a role in those efforts.

One of the largest barriers to ensuring rural families and businesses have broadband connections is the process of building service to rural areas, where connecting homes along the “last mile” are often costly and complicated. That’s why the PSC’s ongoing utility pole attachment proceeding has the potential to help improve the reach of broadband networks to unserved areas.

This proceeding is an opportunity to streamline access to the critical infrastructure needed to expand service to rural areas of Kentucky…”

Robert Stivers
President, Kentucky State Senate

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the internet has become even more critical to the health, education, economic, and social well-being of Kentuckians in my district and across the Commonwealth. As we all continue to adapt to the challenges brought by COVID-19, legislators and policymakers like the General Assembly and the Public Service Commission (PSC) must take action to ensure that all Kentuckians have access to reliable broadband.

Right now, the PSC has the opportunity to create a more streamlined and cost-effective process for expanding rural broadband in Kentucky through its ongoing utility pole access proceedings. Potential policy changes could lead to faster and more robust broadband deployment and more equitable cost sharing in currently unserved communities, bringing economic and social benefits to every corner of Kentucky.”

Reginald L. Thomas
State Senator, 13th District

Kentucky Association of Counties

Washington County Judge Executive

Kentucky Magistrates & Commissioners Association

Christian County Judge Executive

Kentucky Hospital Association

State Representative Steven Rudy

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Kentucky League of Cities