Connect Kentucky Receives National Honor

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"The technology revolution is going to make more changes in our lives than anything else I can think of in the next few years," Speaker of the House Jody Richards said.

"When a Kentuckian has access to the world wide web and a computer, they have access to the same resources that anyone anywhere else in the country and in fact anywhere in the world has access to," noted Connect Kentucky President and CEO, Brian Mefford.

That's why Kentucky has been working in conjunction with Connect Kentucky to make sure everyone in the state has access to broadband Internet by 2007.

The hard work hasn't gone unnoticed in the nation's capital as the United States Department of Commerce awarded Connect Kentucky with the National Excellence in Innovation Award.

"We look to see how forward reaching they are. We look to see how inclusive they are. We look to see what kind of results they are achieving," said Economic Development Administration Assistant Secretary, Sandy Baruah.

According to Connect Kentucky, full broadband development means 14,000 more jobs in Kentucky and an additional 5 billion dollars to the state gross product.

"They really take hold of what they're economic futures gonna look like, respecting the past but building for the future," Baruah continued.

The drive to get every Kentuckian on-line has made the state the national leader in economic development.

Kentucky's Internet initiative is also becoming a model for other states and federal organizations when it comes to supplying Internet.

"There's no other state in the country that has stepped up to the challenge of ensuring that we have full broadband deployment, which means high-speed Internet for every home, every school, every hospital, business, government agencies, so on and so forth," Mefford said.

Connect Kentucky was presented with a crystal bowl from Tiffany's.

In addition, the Economic Development Administration's national magazine will profile the company in its summer edition of its magazine.

This is the third straight year a Kentucky business has received this honor, a feat no other state has ever accomplished.

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