Eastern Kentucky Businesses Respond to Broadband Expansion Announcement

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – Community members in Harlan County are excited by the recent announcement of nearly $ 2 million in broadband expansion in the area.

“I think it’s really good for the community itself,” said Kaytlin Cornett, Hot Off The Press employee. “Harlan’s struggles after the collapse of the coal industry, I mean, it will be great for the community, it will be great for our business and all the other businesses in Harlan. “

Several other businesses in the area say the internet options currently available in Harlan County are simply not efficient enough to run a business.

One example is Moonbow Tipple Coffee & Sweets, whose owner, Sky Marietta, has told customers she sees a good internet connection is a necessity.

“Many rural communities do not have access to the internet, and we feel it here,” she said. “We have students who come here to try and use our internet for homework. We have business people who come here to organize meetings and they all need fast high speed internet access.

Marietta has stated that she hopes to receive the quality of the internet for which she is currently paying.

“We have businesses in Corbin and Williamsburg, we actually pay more for the internet in Harlan than in other places,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know that the internet costs more in a place like Harlan than in a place like Lexington or Louisville, and that the speeds we get are much slower. “

Local business leaders said this makes it more difficult to conduct work than usual.

“There are a lot of days when it kicks in and then we have a hard time getting sales and people are interrupted in their workflow,” Marietta said. “So we can see very clearly here how necessary it is.”

Especially for the employees of Hot Off The Press, who rely a lot on a good internet.

“This morning I had internet problems and had to restart the router and had to restart our computer,” said Cornett. “It takes us about 30 minutes back on the t-shirts. So this will help us a lot. “

Cornett adds that it was a service that revealed its need after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I mean a lot of people have started working from home,” she said. “My mom has included chores around the house now and she was also having internet problems this morning. I think for the whole community and everyone working from home this will be so great. “

Marietta said that to celebrate the good news, they plan to create a “special internet” for people to enjoy when broadband expansion is underway.

Copyright 2021 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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