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Kenergy Announces start of high-speed internet construction

On Tuesday, August 9 it was announced by Kenergy that they are partnering with internet service provider Conexon Connect (CC) in order to bring world-class broadband to rural areas across the state.
This is Connect’s first partnership in KY, and will deliver high-speed internet access to homes and businesses across 14 counties: Hancock, Daviess, Henderson, Hopkins, Ohio, Webster, McLean, Crittenden, Union, Lyon, Caldwell, Livingston, Muhlenberg, and Breckinridge.

This is the first time for fiber internet to be made available to Kentuckians in rural areas.

“We are very excited to work closely with the Kenergy team to make this possible for co-op members,” said Randy Klindt, Conexon Founding Partner and Conexon Connect CEO.
“The partnership shows the dedication of both organizations to improving the lives of individuals in rural areas.”
The fiber-optic network will follow the path of Kenergy’s electric footprint, with a goal of ensuring the most efficient and logical design and construction process.
Construction is estimated to take about 3 years to complete the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.
It will be built in phases, each taking approximately 12 to 18 months from construction start to customer installation.
“We’re really excited about it,” Judge Roberts said. “We’ve spent so much time on this issue, and I’m thankful to be at this point, for sure.
From the beginning, we were focused on getting the entire community covered. We didn’t want to leave any areas un-served. So, this plan covers all of Hancock County.

For us, it’s not only a quality of life issue, it’s an economic development issue. During the pandemic, we had the virtual learning and telemed – it’s so vital; it’s a necessity anymore.We couldn’t get better news on that front. I’m really, really happy.
Kenergy has the infrastructure in place, they understand the servicing aspect of the business – so, it’s really a great fit, and we’re super excited to get started. We have a great community and our citizens deserve this. I think Hancock County deserves the same type high-speed, reliable internet as any urban area.

We can’t wait. This is a game changer for us.

We spent a lot of time on it. Different parts of every week have been spent on broadband. I have spoken to former Governor Bevin multiple times, and Governor Beshear on this issue.  We had 2 Kenergy members from Hancock County – Richard Basham (Industrial Director on the Kenergy Board of Directors), and Brent Wigginton (on the Kenergy Board of Directors serving District 9) – they’ve done a great job.
We had a push from Mike Baker with the Industrial Foundation – he’s given his help too. We’ve had a lot of support and to be at this point, it’s exciting.”
Basham said he is also “super excited” about getting construction underway, “It’s something we’ve been working toward for several years. It’s going to be really good for the whole region.
It’s going to allow us to provide a service to all of our members – everybody will have a chance to get it. It will be affordable and very high-quality broadband.
There have been a tremendous amount of hurdles to overcome, and it’s a great feeling to me, at this point, to get started.”
This nearly $150 million fiber-optic network will offer members access to the fastest and most robust internet capabilities in the nation, and will provide reliable, clear phone service, enabling the future benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure.
Improved power outage response times, better load balancing, and more efficient electricity delivery are just some of these many future benefits.
“Two and a half years ago, is when the Board really started digging in to the opportunity to do broadband,” Wigginton said. “There were co-ops around the country in other states that were doing that, and we were networking with them.
We faced a lot of challenges with the Public Service Commission (PSC), and finally were able to get a lot of our county judges and legislators behind us.

Of course, the passing of House Bill 315 allowed us to do this without PSC approval.
This is going to be a huge benefit to Western Kentucky, not only Hancock County in particular.
So much of HC was unserved and underserved and that became so apparent during covid, when the children were doing virtual learning and the parents were working from home.
And, folks are still working from home. A lot of folks are running businesses out of their home. The internet is so vital.
The internet is what electricity was in the 1930s – why the co-ops came to be – to get electricity to the rural areas. And now, we’re doing that with broadband.
I am very excited that the staff at Kenergy, and Conexon, and all of our legislators and local officials have pulled together to make this happen.
These are exciting times, and trucks will be rolling very soon across the entire 14-county footprint of Kenergy.
This is a great day for Hancock County and it’s a great day for Western Kentucky.”
Kenergy President and CEO, Jeff Hohn said, “Since Kenergy’s beginning, we have put our members first and continuously enhanced our services to fit their needs. We’re excited to take the next step to bringing them the FTTH internet connection that they need.

Rural communities in our area desperately need high-speed internet to stay in touch, whether that’s for telemedicine, work, or education. We are grateful to be the company that can give them that connection.”
There are 3 tiers of internet pricing along with service enhancements and HD-quality phone service.
CC is a participant in Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline, both of which offer discounted pricing for internet and/or phone to eligible residents.
Citizens can stay up to date on the latest information by following Connect FB page or by visiting the Kenergy website.When installation time for your community is nearing, sign-up access and installation scheduling will be available.
Go to www.ConexonConnect.com and select Kenergy from the dropdown menu. Then, click on ‘check availability’ to provide your information and sign up.
Once you sign up for service, fiber installation is simple. CC will pull fiber from Kenergy’s main lines and follow power lines to attach the fiber to your home or business.
The fiber line will be attached to a box near your electric meter and then connected to a fiber jack inside your home or office, where it is plugged into the modem provided.
Your existing computers and Wi-Fi devices should connect to the provided devices without the need for additional hardware purchases.
Kenergy is a member owned co-op which operates on a non-profit basis, in Henderson, KY.  It was established on July, 1999, with the consolidation of Henderson-Union Electric Cooperative (organized in 1936) and Green River Electric (organized in 1937), and serves 57,000 homes and businesses in 14 counties.
Their goal is to expand fiber broadband access to all of their approximately 49,000 members.

 

1 Comment

  1. Debra Spark on August 11, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Is this why are lights went up so high. The only thing that I have on lights is A/C and lights every thing else is GAS even my dryer is gas.
    Thank you:
    Debra Sparks

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