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Rowan County officials stress the importance of internet speed tests to secure broadband funds


Many rural areas in the Commonwealth are considered unserved or underserved when it comes to broadband internet access. Officials said a highly competitive statewide grant aims to develop broadband infrastructure in Kentucky communities, including Morehead. The Broadband Equity and Access Deployment funding totals over $1 billion statewide.

Officials in Rowan County are asking residents to gather data by testing their home internet speeds. Harry Clark, Rowan County Judge Executive, said this information is crucial to receiving funding.

“The whole grant process is based on your speed. So, they’re going to go to the worst speed, or the unserved or underserved, first. Then it’ll tier on up. We have to prove to them that they are underserved or non-served to be eligible into this grant process,” said Clark.

Rowan County residents can test their broadband speeds on the Kentucky state website. The link can also be found on Rowan County Fiscal Court’s Facebook page. The site will ask for personal and location information. The test needs to be completed three times, on separate days. Officials said those without internet at home should visit the site on any device and click “no service available.”

Clark said if Rowan County can win the funding, it would mean many improvements.

“If we’re eligible for the grant money, then we have an opportunity to put fiber to all of these homes that are underserved or non-served,” Clark said. “Which would be a tremendous accomplishment for Rowan County. Not only for just your personal life, but for school, remote medical, work from home.”

Clark said it is especially important that people in rural parts of the county do the test, as that’s where the greatest need is. The speed tests must be completed by June 6.