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Fiber-Optic Broadband Infrastructure

Encourage installation of fiber-optic broadband infrastructure for high-tech and other industries.

Nearly every aspect of modern society is becoming increasingly web-dependent and, like the Interstate highway system connects communities, digital broadband infrastructure is essential for any 21st century community to thrive in areas of commerce, health, education, entertainment, and government. Broadband fiber, also known as fiber-optic cables, transmit huge amounts of data, literally at the speed of light. Even as wireless technologies improve, and the community prepares for the next generation of 5G wireless technologies, the backbone of that digital network is still going to need to have a landline.

KyWired, a public-private partnership, is positioning Kentucky to be a national leader in high-capacity internet service connections and is in the process of providing the backbone of the service lines to all 120 counties. Improved internet service will promote economic development, enhance education and research capabilities, ensure public safety, improve healthcare delivery, and augment connectivity for libraries and communities across the Commonwealth. KyWired’s work is still in progress in Fayette County.

Lexington has quietly been building a fiber-optic network over the last 30 years to service its traffic operations and signal timing system, and that long-term investment has positioned the city to be ready for the next wave of smart technologies, generally referred to as the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). As cities become smarter, and with a future of connected vehicles and self-driving cars, the digital infrastructure will allow streets to function more efficiently, such as traffic signals that adapt in real time to amount of congestion on the street. This is just the beginning of the potential benefits that high speed digital infrastructure will bring to Lexington.

MetroNet has a franchise agreement with the City to install fiber-optic network inside the Urban Service Area boundary, making gigabit speeds available to nearly all residences and businesses. When complete, Lexington will be the largest city in the country with a citywide fiber-optic network. Gigabit speeds move data at 1,000 megabits per second. MetroNet began its construction in Lexington in January of 2018 in the northeastern part of the city, and began providing service to its first customers in late summer of 2018. Construction of the network is expected to be completed within three years.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL C2: Attract the world’s finest jobs, encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and enhance our ability to recruit and retain a talented, creative workforce by establishing opportunities that embrace diversity with inclusion in our community.

Objective: C2a

Prioritize the success and growth of strategically-targeted employment sectors (healthcare, education, high-tech, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, agritourism, and the like), and enable infill and redevelopment that creates jobs where people live.

Objective: C2b

Improve opportunities for small business development and workers who rely on personal technology.

Objective: C2c

Review and improve regulations and policies that attract and retain high paying jobs through close collaboration with agencies that focus on economic development.

Objective: C2d

Provide entertainment and other quality of life opportunities that attract young, and culturally diverse professionals, and a work force of all ages and talents to Lexington.