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.