More than $10 million for rural Kansas communities for broadband improvements


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Governor has awarded more than $10 million to rural communities for broadband upgrades.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said Friday, May 20 that 11 organizations have received broadband acceleration grants, resulting in more than $10 million in investments in high-speed broadband access. in 10 rural counties.

“We continue to achieve our bold and ambitious goal of making Kansas one of the top 10 states for broadband access by 2030,” Governor Kelly said. “Affordable broadband is necessary to keep our communities viable and competitive, and every Kansan deserves a reliable connection to the world. These grants accelerate our efforts to make this a reality.

Launched in 2020, Kelly said the grant program is an $85 million, 10-year program that will bring crucial broadband access to Kansas communities. She said the program is administered by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.

The Governor noted that this is the second year of the program that will bring total broadband infrastructure investment in Kansas communities to more than $70 million since 2020.

“Access to quality broadband is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “Broadband connectivity improves quality of life and opens the door to new businesses and community growth throughout Kansas. We are grateful to community leaders who champion broadband access at the local level and who make long-term strategic investments in their communities.

Kelly said the $5 million in grants for 2022 will be combined with an additional $5 million in matching funds. She said that would translate to more than $10 million for needed broadband infrastructure in Kansas communities. She said three of the awarded projects include key partnerships with municipalities and include $875,000 in matching funds from the local community.

“Broadband infrastructure is as essential to the well-being of Kansans as safe roads, bridges and clean drinking water,” said Julie Lorenz, Secretary of Transportation. “These IKE-funded grants, when combined with broadband funding opportunities available through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL), enable Kansas to strategically and efficiently expand quality broadband infrastructure throughout our State.”

The Governor said the projects were chosen after a competitive funding round and all proposed projects were made available to the public for review. To encourage feedback, she said a public comment period was included in the process, which ensured transparency and community feedback in the awards process.

“Our goal is to improve access for the nearly 60 percent of Kansans who need robust internet connectivity,” said Melinda Stanley, acting director of the Kansas office for broadband development. “Governor Kelly recognizes that broadband access is a necessity for our communities and Kansas households, and while much work remains to be done, these awards bring us one step closer to connecting everyone. Kansan.”

The rewards are as follows:

Recipient Location Sotck exchange Matching funds Total investment
Blue Valley Communications Nemaha County $809,549 $809,549 $1,619,098
Charter Communications Leavenworth County $403,158 $1,512,000 $1,915,158
Communications Cunningham cloud county $500,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Epic Touch Communications Liberal, Seward $889,063 $889,063 $1,778,126
HB cable Kanopolis $300,407 $300,407 $600,814
Ideatek Seward County $259,752 $259,752 $519,504
KwiKom Communications Paola, Miami County $496,190 $496,190 $992,380
HER Americus, County of Lyons $121,734 $121,734 $243,468
SC Telecom Harper County $750,698 $750,698 $1,501,396
WTC Communications Southeast Riley County $182,750 $182,750 $365,500
WTC Communications Pottawatomie County $286,699 $286,699

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