Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College, joined Governor Matt Bevin, Congressman Hal Rogers and other dignitaries at a news conference on Friday, September 16 in the Capitol Rotunda to announce that the Kentucky Wired project will be completed by mid-2019.
Kentucky Wired is the much-anticipated statewide fiber installation project.
Dr. Stephenson is the SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) liaison for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). His entrepreneurial leadership led to the creation of eastern Kentucky’s first Fiber Optics Association sanctioned programs last year. Currently, the college has trained more than 140 fiber optics professionals, many of whom were laid off coal miners. Through a partnership with BDI DataLynk, the college’s program has received national attention, attracting participants from 13 states.
The development of digital infrastructure will revolutionize and expedite the transformation that is so desperately needed in Eastern Kentucky, said Dr. Stephenson.
“Thanks to your commitment we can now push our region ahead at light speed,” added Dr. Stephenson. “Through this investment you have leveled our mountains and created a globally competitive foundation from which we will advance. You have given us a voice to now speak to the world…and we are deeply grateful.”
BSCTC became the first fiber optics program in Kentucky to incorporate lashing to its Fiber Optics program. The technique of lashing is the weatherproofing of fiber. This is important, especially given the topography of Eastern Kentucky.
“Governor Bevin and Congressman Rogers, you have laid out a plan of transformation for Kentucky, and, as Congressman Rogers says, ‘We must plan our work and work our plan,’” said Dr. Stephenson. “I encourage all of you to look forward – forward at the opportunities and the possibilities of true transformation that will impact us, our children, and generations to come. The implementation of the Kentucky Wired project will allow our entire Commonwealth, from Pikeville to Paducah, to stand unified on the right side of the digital divide.”
(story provided by BSCTC)