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More than $3.6 million dollars to build 75 miles of fiber

MCKEE, Kentucky — PRTC has received a total of $3.6 million in two USDA Rural Develop- ment grants that will allow them to expand their fiber optic broadband network into Lee County.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky State Director Hilda Legg an- nounced in February that PRTC was awarded more than $1.26 million in grant funding to ex- pand their fiber optic network into rural Lee County. This is in addition to $2.4 million that was announced in October. PRTC has also committed to spend additional capital of its own to build even more miles of fiber in Lee County.

PRTC Chief Executive Officer Keith Gabbard said PRTC has decades of experience serving Jackson and Owsley counties.

We have served Jackson and Owsley counties for more than 70 years and have the knowledge and experience necessary to bring this life-changing technology to Lee Coun-ty,” Gabbard said. We look forward to serving more of Lee County so they can experiencethe difference fiber internet will mean for them.”

The grants will help fund construction of more than 75 miles of fiber optic lines that will pass more than 400 households and five businesses near Primrose and Cressmont. The grants will also fund a community center where residents can access the fiber-based internet for free for at least two years.

Broadband connectivity is a necessity to economic development, health care and qualityof life, and these projects will help expand that connectivity,” said Legg.

Access to the fiber-based network means a faster, more reliable and more capable con- nection to power businesses, learning, teleheath, streaming, gaming and more.

PO Box 159 McKee KY 40447 606.287.7101

Contact:

Jodi Gabbard jodi.gabbard@prtc.org

PRTC’s new introductory speed is 100 Mbps with plans all the way up to a gig. A gig ofspeed means a user can download hundreds of photos or an entire HD movie in just a few seconds. Additionally, large video files that once took an hour or more to upload to YouTube can be finished in moments.

The story of PRTCs successful efforts to bring fast fiber-optic internet service to rural Kentucky have garnered national recognition. The cooperative has been featured in The New York-

er” for its lightning-quick speeds, which are hailed as some of the fastest and most reliable in the Country.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportuni- ties and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; busi- ness development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Staking has begun and construction will soon follow this year in the Primrose area. PRTC continues to explore options, such as grants, to continue the expansion of our network into Lee County.

For more information about PRTC, visit www.prtcnet.org. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the near future and more info will be available at that time.

To read about PRTC in The New Yorker,” visit https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of- technology/the-one-traffic- light-town-with-some-of-the-fastest-internet-in-the-us.

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