Ranking relatively low on the list of states, Kentucky occupies the 40th slot in terms of state broadband access. This is partly due to the fact that a handful of counties have very limited high-speed coverage and the majority of Kentuckians do not have access to what is considered an affordable internet plan. Additionally, the average statewide download speed of 95.7 Mbps is low when compared to many other states. Still, 29.1% of Kentuckians have access to fiber-optic service, which is more than 25% of Americans with access to the same.
The Digital Divide in Kentucky
The technological gap between Kentuckians with access to high-speed, low-priced internet, and those who do not constitutes what is known as the digital divide. The following data helps to quantify that divide in Kentucky.
While the great majority (92.2%) of people living in Kentucky have access to a high-speed broadband connection with 25 Mbps or faster download speeds, 257,000 people in Kentucky remain without a wired connection that can provide the same speed. Further, 142,000 people do not have any wired internet providers offering services at their place of residence, and another 561,000 only have access to one provider, which gives them no options for switching to another provider if they are dissatisfied with their current one.
According to recent affordability data, 39.3% of Kentuckians have access to a low-priced internet plan costing $60 or less per month. This figure is significantly behind the national average of 51.5% of US residents with access to the same.
While Kentucky falls comparatively low on the nationwide broadband rankings, a number of cities within the state offer a good combination of broadband coverage, pricing, and speed. The best-connected cities in Kentucky are Louisville, Lexington, Latonia, Fort Thomas, and Ft Mitchell, with Louisville ranking as the city with the best internet in Kentucky.
Find out more about how Kentucky stacks up against other states throughout the country here.
Since 2010, Kentucky’s broadband data and development have been fueled by federal grants amounting to $5,302,717, which have gone toward the Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of Technology. Over half a million dollars in federal grant funding has gone toward expanding broadband infrastructure within the state.
More recently, the state-run KentuckyWired program has been launched with the goal of “constructing over 3,000 miles of high-speed, high-capacity fiber optic cable in every county in Kentucky.”
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.