Questions About Kentucky Wired’s Delays

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Republican leaders of Kentucky’s House of Representatives are asking a top official from former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration to answer questions about Kentucky Wired, a statewide broadband project that has racked up more than $180 million in costs associated with delays.

Kentucky Wired is supposed to provide high speed internet to all of Kentucky’s 120 counties with a 3,200 mile-long network of fiber optic cable.

Parts of the project were set to go live in 2015, but the state has struggled to secure agreements to install wires on telephone poles owned by local utilities.

Most of the project’s initial $324 million cost was fronted by private investors led by Australian firm Macquarie Capital.
And the state is obligated to pay the companies more than $30 million per year to help pay off debt associated with the project.

Republicans question why the contract was structured that way and are asking Kentucky’s former finance secretary Lori Flanery to testify before a legislative committee.