Official: Kentucky missed chance to end broadband deal

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's procurement chief said it would have cost the state about $9 million in 2015 to back out of a project to build a statewide broadband network.

Instead, Finance and Administration Secretary William Landrum said the state is committed to the $400 million project that has already cost taxpayers $88 million in delays.

Landrum testified before the Program Review and Investigations Committee on Thursday. He said one reason state officials approved the Kentucky Wired project was because they had a misunderstanding of rules regulating federal education funding for internet service. That misunderstanding led to an annual $11 million hole in the project's financing plan.

Kentucky Communications Network Authority Executive Director Phillip Brown said the agency is negotiating amendments to the contract that will give the state more favorable terms.

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