Kinetic unveils $6.8M public-private fiber partnership in Kentucky

Windstream’s Kinetic is undertaking another public-private partnership, this time in Kentucky’s Bullitt County to provide high-speed fiber broadband to some 6,300 homes and businesses.

Bullitt County will commit $2 million from its general fund to support the project, which is expected to start in early October. Kinetic is investing $4.8 million to lay about 170 miles of fiber connecting locations in the county as well as in the unincorporated communities of Cedar Grove, Solitude and Brownington.

Construction is expected to be completed sometime next year, and Kinetic intends to cover any cost overruns. Kinetic said it will deploy speeds of up to 8 Gbps to eligible locations.

This summer, Kinetic announced plans to roll out 8-gig service to 400,000 households across its 18-state footprint.

“We are thrilled to bring Kinetic’s ultrafast, ultrareliable 8 gigabit fiber connectivity and best-in-class internet experience to homes and businesses here in Bullitt County,” said Windstream President and CEO Tony Thomas in a statement. “This important county deserves exceptional internet, which will meet residents’ evolving demands for business, educational and personal use.”

Bullitt County is Kinetic's second public-private partnership in Kentucky, a Windstream spokesperson told Fierce, as the operator last year completed a project in the city of Grayson in Carter County. Overall, Kinetic currently serves 50 counties in the state.

Ookla Speedtest data indicates the median download speed in Kentucky is about 191 Mbps, while the median upload speed is around 23 Mbps.

“This partnership signals the start of new possibilities for Bullitt County,” stated Bullitt County Judge-Executive Jerry Summers. “Technology is ever evolving, and this county deserves broadband that will handle current and future demands.”

The Bullitt County project comes not long after Kinetic announced a public-private partnership in Georgia’s Chattooga County, which will see Kinetic construct a 320-mile fiber network connecting 3,400 homes, businesses and schools.

Both the Bullitt County and Chattooga County initiatives are part of Kinetic’s $2 billion multi-year investment strategy to expand gigabit broadband across the country.

In Kentucky alone, Kinetic said it’s invested more than $211 million in the past two years to expand broadband access.

Kinetic is also bolstering digital literacy in the state, as it announced the Bullitt County Central Library will be the first public library in the U.S. to offer the operator’s free online enrichment program.

The digital literacy program includes courses in essential computer skills, basic office software skills and daily technology skills.

“This is another way we at Kinetic are supporting people here in Bullitt County,” Thomas added.