In 2015, KentuckyWired, a public-private partnership, was organized to build a fiber optic network into every county by 2017. This network was projected to cost $324.4 million. Of this, Kentucky raised $270 million through bond sales,
On May 3, 2017, the company reported that $39.9 million had already been spent on debt service. This substantial ongoing capital cost demands an immediate way to connect users when the service reaches a county. In October 2017, it stated, “the first loop of network should be completed in 2018.”
Local telecom companies already have fiber-based broadband and therefore have no incentive to access KentuckyWired bandwidth. Thus, new organizations are needed to connect local users. To create viable service plans, these organizations must know their cost to move data across the network.
The rates to have yet to be published. Currently, the only answer given is, “Rates will be competitive.” Over $320 million will be wasted if KentuckyWired only delivers data at rates competitive to the existing telecom companies.
Until the rates to use data are published, Kentucky legislators must not authorize any more funds.
Charles W. Marshall