A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Two pieces of legislation will push Kentucky toward the digital age

By Gary Gerdemann
Special to KyForward
Two Kentucky legislators took a major bipartisan step this week in securing a fully connected digital future for our Commonwealth. When adopted into law, their legislation will enact critical reforms to bring Kentucky’s telecommunications laws into the 21st Century.
When this happens, all Kentuckians will benefit.
Their actions are supported by a wide and diverse range of both public and private business, education, healthcare and economic development interests that have spoken up time again about the need for Kentucky to keep pace with today’s digital economy.
There is broad support for this reform because they know Kentucky’s future depends upon it.
Leaders in both chambers of the Kentucky Legislature also agree.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo recently told The Courier-Journal, “I think it will get a vote in both chambers and I think it will pass.”
Sen. Paul Hornback’s Senate Bill 3 and Rep. Rick Rand’s House Bill 152 include policies which have been fully vetted by both legislative bodies during several years of debate. Questions have been answered, and compromises have been made to ensure that first and foremost the basic communications needs of all Kentuckians are fully protected.
It is time to put this good policy in place.
The last time Kentucky updated its telecomm laws the iPhone hadn’t even been released.
In short, we are peddling along in the landline slow lane while the rest of the world is passing us by on the digital super-highway. The time has come to look toward the future and move away from 1930s-era wireline technology and fully embrace wireless broadband in all parts of Kentucky, not just larger cities.
Updating Kentucky’s telecommunications laws will encourage more investment in broadband, wireless infrastructure throughout the state. As a result, Kentuckians will be afforded the opportunity to take advantage of broadband services, increasing educational opportunities for our children and helping grow our economy to meet the demands of a globally connected marketplace.
The time has finally come for this important legislation to be passed into law.
CDF encourages all Kentucky legislators to do what is best for the future of our Commonwealth and support SB 3 and HB 152 to promote a fully connected digital future for Kentucky.


Gary Gerdemann is director of Citizens for a Digital Future in Kentucky.


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