Private internet service providers have brought their concerns about a state government project to expand broadband before a legislative committee.
Once completed, KentuckyWired will extend to 1,100 state facilities and schools currently served by local internet providers. Executive Director of the Kentucky Telecom Association Tyler Campbell testified before the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue that the project threatens the customer bases of local internet service providers. Campbell said KTA supports KentuckyWired building to areas that aren’t already served, but not elsewhere.
“Again our concern is, we have built that fiber in the 58 counties that we serve all of or part of as rural telecom providers,” Campbell said. “Again, they’re going to take customers that we already serve with bandwidth that they say the can offer that we already offer or exceed. And so really it’s just a duplication of services already offered.”
KentuckyWired Spokesperson Pamela Trautner said the project may have a short term impact on local internet providers. But she said KentuckyWired will offer them access to competitive internet service and, in the long run, help them grow their customer base at a lower cost.