TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced the application window for Broadband Acceleration Grant Program submissions.
“Access to high-speed internet is critical for Kansans to access health care, education, and compete in an increasingly digital economy,” Governor Kelly said. “My administration is committed to getting every Kansas home and business connected. I encourage anyone who qualifies to apply for this round of Broadband Acceleration Grants.”
The Broadband Acceleration Grant Program is critical in Kansas’ plan to address broadband gaps statewide. Funds will be targeted to areas that are unlikely to receive broadband service without state or federal funding support.
Launched in 2020, the program is poised to invest $85 million over 10 years to bridge the digital divide in Kansas, thanks to broadband modernization funding provided by the Kelly Administration’s bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE).
Applicants may make a maximum grant request of $1 million that requires a 50% match for the construction of high quality, reliable broadband infrastructure in Kansas. The program prioritizes applications that address unserved areas, economically distressed communities and areas with compelling needs. The deadline for the intent to apply is Friday, January 14, 2022, with final applications due by noon on February 11, 2022.
“Broadband Acceleration Grants are a powerful tool to provide more Kansans with the high-speed internet they need to compete economically and improve their quality of life,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We will continue building partnerships with innovative, visionary organizations on projects that give Kansas communities an edge now and well into the future.”
“The Broadband Acceleration Grant Program is one of the key building blocks we have put in place at the Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) to accelerate broadband expansion across the state and build upon the work we completed as part of the pandemic response programs,” KOBD Director Stanley Adams said. “We’ve long known of the significant digital divide in Kansas, and the pandemic reinforced what we need to do. We are prepared to seize the opportunity to connect every Kansan with the broadband access they need and deserve.”
The Kansas Office of Broadband Development will host the first webinar on the grant opportunity at 1 p.m. Thursday, December 16. Additional webinar opportunities are planned for January.
To submit your intent to apply, please click here.
For program information and webinar opportunities click here.
Since the summer of 2020, Governor Kelly’s efforts have spurred more than $75 million of total investment in broadband infrastructure in Kansas to address pandemic health, education and business challenges and spur community and economic development. The first program, the Connectivity Emergency Response Grant funded through the state SPARK program, generated more than $65 million in total investment through 66 broadband infrastructure projects completed across the state. Impacting rural communities in 74 of Kansas’ 105 counties, the program improved the availability of broadband access for more than 51,000 households, businesses and municipalities. The initial year of the Broadband Acceleration Grant invested an additional $10 million in state broadband grants and matching funds.
About the Kansas Office of Broadband Development
The Kansas Office of Broadband Development was established in 2020 by Governor Laura Kelly to help ensure all Kansans have the opportunity to live, work, learn and compete in a global economy by improving universal access to quality, affordable and reliable broadband.
About the Kansas Department of Commerce
As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas in 2021 was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award and was named Site Selection Magazine’s Best Business Climate in the West North Central region of the United States. Find the Department’s strategic plan for economic growth here: Kansas Framework for Growth.