Republican leaders of the state House of Representatives have asked a top official from former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration to answer questions about Kentucky Wired, a statewide broadband project that has racked up more than $180 million in costs associated with delays.
Kentucky Wired is supposed to provide high speed internet to all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
Its initial $324 million cost was fronted by private investors who the state is obligated to pay more than $30 million per year to help pay off debt associated with the project.
For years the project has racked up costly delays while the state struggles to secure agreements to install wires on telephone poles owned by local utilities.
This year the legislature gave Kentucky Wired nearly $70 million and permission to bond $120 million to compensate for the delays.
Now state House leaders are asking former Finance Secretary Lori Flanery to explain why the project was structured the way it was.