KCNA provided grant funds to GADD for planning
Frankfort, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2016) – Grant funding from the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA) allowed more than 70 key Gateway Area Development District (GADD) stakeholders from Montgomery, Menifee, Morgan, Rowan and Bath counties to plan how to best prepare for taking advantage of the KentuckyWired high speed broadband network currently under construction.
The GADD board of directors recently approved a comprehensive strategic plan, or roadmap, that provides regional goals and strategies as well as county-specific recommendations for plugging into the KentuckyWired broadband “middle mile”. The goal is to increase awareness and adoption and provide effective, affordable high-speed internet to citizens and businesses.
“This successful collaboration offers the Gateway area a unique opportunity to become a leader in broadband access in the state and in the nation,” said Chris Moore, executive director of KCNA, the agency overseeing the KentuckyWired project. “This is exactly the type of collaboration effort we wanted to support with the grant funds we provided.”
High speed internet will not only open up current opportunities, but also allow for the inevitable future growth and expansion of internet-based applications and technologies for communities to thrive. Broadband internet is now considered a necessary community infrastructure just like water, electricity and gas.
“This was a true partnership between the state, The Center for Rural Development, our board of directors and all of the community partners who participated. It was something to see and to be involved in. I am very glad to have a plan that we can work from and toward our goal of providing excellent broadband service in our region,” stated Gail Wright, executive director of GADD. “I appreciate the effort on our behalf and look forward to moving forward with the broadband initiative in our region.”
According to its vision statement, GADD plans to offer “a world-class communications infrastructure that empowers a growing and unified region with affordable, dependable, redundant, and sustainable broadband.”
To achieve the vision for broadband and enhanced quality of life throughout the GADD regional community, the following key focus areas were considered during the strategic planning discussions:
- Affordable access
- Awareness of what broadband can bring to their communities and industries
- Maximizing adoption
- Governance and oversight
The Solarity Group, a Kentucky project management and facilitation firm and one of several approved consultants that communities can work with, assisted GADD board members and community stakeholders throughout this planning process. The Solarity Group also provided recommendations for next steps, which include tactical planning for carrying out the overall goals of the strategic plan.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to work with such wonderful community and business leaders, said Nancy Ward, lead facilitator for The Solarity Group. “They have ideas and are passionate about moving their communities forward. We helped integrate those ideas in a cohesive plan to do just that.”
See the full press release HERE.
KentuckyWired is what’s called the middle mile, a physical system of fiber optic cable that will allow broadband service to be brought closer to communities. Think of KentuckyWired as an interstate highway system that will connect the worldwide Internet to “exit ramps” closer to a community. Construction on the more than 3,000-mile statewide network is in progress.
The Gateway Area Development District (GADD) is a planning and development organization serving Bath, Menifee, Morgan, Montgomery and Rowan counties. As one of fifteen KY Area Development Districts, they serve as forums, clearinghouses, technical centers, conveners for the region and provide continuity to projects during the transition of local elected officials. The ADDs strive to foster regional strategies, solutions and partnerships that achieve sustainable economic growth and improve the overall quality of life for the citizens of Kentucky. Unlike many other organizations structured along multi-jurisdictional lines, the ADDs have both federal and state statutory authority.
Solarity is a business consulting and training company that helps people and organizations thrive through a practice model that integrates Project, Program, and Portfolio Management, Organizational Change Management, Strategic Planning, Business Analysis and Requirements Management. Solarity offers a broad range of experience and knowledge in a range of different industries that allows it to customize an approach to fit the situation.