Monday, April 20, 2015

If This Happens, I Will Eat Gov. Beshear's Hat

Total bullshit.  120-county broadband in three years my ass. Motherfucking phone company put fiber-optic lines on my road 14 years ago.  Still no DSL, no broadband, no fucking nothing.

Also: "fees charged to future customers." Everybody who thinks that will be a penny less than the arm and a leg currently charged by satellite and other wireless companies, stand on your head.

Garry Wollenhaupt at the Lane Report:

Imagine downloading an entire movie in just a few seconds, or a business sending massive 3D printing files around the world. That’s the kind of jumpstart Gov. Steve Beshear hopes to provide with the Next Generation Kentucky Information Highway, a plan to extend high-speed broadband service via fiber optic lines to all 120 counties by 2018.

In December 2014, Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, the Somerset Republican who since the 1980 election has represented most of the commonwealth’s Appalachian region, announced a contract with Australia-based Macquarie Capital to bring high-speed Internet connectivity to the state. The project will include more than 3,000 miles of fiber in all 120 counties, and Eastern Kentucky will be the first priority area.

Rogers and Beshear have spearheaded the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative, aimed at improving economic development and public infrastructure in the Appalachian region. Having long endured fewer jobs, lower incomes and lagging infrastructure, Eastern Kentucky in the past few years has lost half the coal mining jobs that were among the best paying to residents there. SOAR’s aim is to move the economic needle broadly upward.

Across the state, most home Internet services are delivered via telephone lines or cable TV connections that don’t qualify as broadband service today – defined now as download speeds of 25 megabits per second rather than the 2010 benchmark of 4Mbps. Businesses in some large cities have fast options for Internet service through telecommunications providers, but at a high cost and not at the level this project will provide.

The project is designed to address the fact that Kentucky ranks 46th in broadband availability, and slow service is still a reality in the 23 percent of the state’s rural areas that do not have access to broadband of any type.

The contract with Macquarie, estimated at $250 million to $350 million depending on how much existing infrastructure is used, will target Eastern Kentucky first for fiber optic installation and connectivity.

The state will support the project with $30 million in state bonds and $15 to $20 million in federal grants it is getting specifically for this job. In the recent omnibus federal budget, the Appalachian Regional Commission was awarded $10 million to improve broadband in central Appalachia. There is no additional cost to taxpayers under the public-private partnership Macquarie Capital has signed has signed on for; it will pay the rest of the costs with the anticipation of obtaining a return from the fees charged to future customers.

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