burning money

The Kentucky House-Senate conference committee is in the process of working out the two-year state budget. Americans for Tax Reform urges the committee to follow the Senate’s lead and remove all funding for KentuckyWired from the final bill.

KentuckyWired — a statewide government-owned broadband network — is a taxpayer’s nightmare. Two years past its intended date of completion, less than 1/3 of the fiber optic cable has been laid in ground, yet the state has blown through more than half of its $350 million budget.

Making matters worse, on top of the basic labor costs that rack up when such an undertaking runs behind schedule, taxpayers are also footing the bill for millions of dollars in contract penalties for “supervening events.” Indeed, these penalties will continue to escalate out of control.

Study after study has concluded that government entities are not well suited to play in the broadband industry, as they lack the necessary expertise to build out, maintain, and upgrade a network. Time and time again, GONs have left taxpayers on the hook for millions with only a poorly functioning and unnecessary service to show for it. 

As such, it is highly unlikely KentuckyWired will turn around. The best solution for taxpayers would be for lawmakers to bring KentuckyWired to a permanent stop. 

ATR sent a letter to Kentucky lawmakers voicing our concerns with KentuckyWired and urging them to not to include its funding in the state budget. You can read the letter in its entirety here.