$23 million awarded to broadband service providers to connect rural Kansans

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) – Approximately $23 million has been awarded to broadband service providers to connect rural Kansas to high-speed Internet.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday, December 15, that $23.1 million will be awarded to six service providers to serve nearly 4,200 homes, businesses, schools, health care facilities and other facilities in underserved and rural areas High-speed broadband services to connect the state. She said this is the second of three rounds of awards from the Kansas Capital Project Funds Grant Program.

gov. Kelly said the goal of the funding is to meet the “last mile” of broadband needs in critical areas. She said the target counties only have five locations per square mile, which has so far prevented companies from investing resources to provide a high-quality broadband option. The program provides the funds needed to implement broadband in these areas.

“By connecting nearly 4,200 more Kansas homes, businesses and schools to high-speed Internet, we continue to fulfill our goal of connecting every Kansan to the world,” said Kelly. “This funding removes a barrier for Kansans wanting to participate in the digital economy, access telemedicine and take advantage of online education.”

Kelly noted that the program is a result of the US Treasury Department’s approval of Kansas’ Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund broadband infrastructure plan. She said the federal program is a $10 billion initiative available to states, territories and tribal governments under the program and has received $83.5 million.

The governor noted that the program opportunity resulted in 141 applications from providers requesting a total of $693 million in funding to expand broadband infrastructure throughout the Sunflower State.

“The Capital Projects Fund program provides the funding needed for providers to connect Kansans in some of our state’s most underserved areas,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “We will continue to work with partners across Kansas to ensure all communities have the high-speed broadband they need to be competitive and prosper.”

Once appropriate funding from service providers is included, Kelly said total broadband investment in Phase 2 will exceed $30 million.

“The Capital Projects Fund represents the Office of Broadband Development’s largest grant to date,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, director of the Office of Broadband Development. “We’re excited to partner with vendors to make a positive impact in communities that have fallen into the digital divide.”

The scholarship recipients are as follows:

company service location Forgive
IdeaTek Finney, Haskell, Scott and Seward counties $7,943,385 for connecting 1,121 premises
KwiKom Counties of Franklin, Lyon and Osage $1,810,941 for connecting 1,333 premises
Mokan dial Franklin Co. $6,948,173 for connecting 663 premises
PGB Fiber, LLC finney co $1,811,463 for connecting 137 premises
S&T communication Wallace Co. $997,844 for connecting 118 buildings
WTC Counties of Geary, Pottawatomie, Riley and Shawnee $3,599,749 for connecting 814 buildings

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