Charter's Spectrum scores in Kentucky's $386M funding round

Charter Communications was by far the biggest winner in Kentucky’s latest broadband funding round, which doled out $386 million to more than 42,600 locations in 46 counties.

The money came from the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund, which is part of the state’s Better Internet program. The state awarded 56 grants totaling more than $196 million to ISPs, who will in turn contribute more than $190 million in matching funds.

Charter scored a total of 27 grants worth roughly $116.8 million, according to the full list of awards. The operator’s largest grants are $22.3 million in Harrison County, covering 2,639 locations, and $17.2 million in Lewis County to serve 2,121 locations.

Other notable funding winners include rural ISP Broadlinc, which got 11 grants totaling $9.23 million, and Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corp with seven grants worth around $12 million.

More than 25,000 of the locations covered are considered to have no service, or internet speeds below 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. While more than 17,000 locations are considered unserved, meaning they lack speeds at or above 25/3 Mbps.

Providers will use the funding to run fiber to each location, said the state’s press release. The $386 million come over a year after Kentucky announced the first round of awards (totaling $89.1 million) from the Broadband Deployment Fund in June 2022.

“Charter applauds the Beshear administration’s bold initiative to quickly connect every Kentuckian to reliable, high-quality broadband,” said Ellen Call, Charter’s senior director of state government affairs, in a statement.

“We look forward to the opportunity to extend our ongoing partnership with Kentucky leaders – including the General Assembly and local and county leaders – who, like the administration, recognize the importance of rural connectivity to Kentucky’s future,” she said.

Charter in the second quarter reported it activated 68,000 subsidized rural passings across the country. In the past few months, Charter also secured broadband grants in Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin.