~$83.5M in Grants Are Available to Expand Broadband Access in High-Need Areas~
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that more than 21,000 Kansas homes and businesses are set to receive high-speed internet access for the first time thanks to an $83.5 million grant program through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Broadband Development.
The new grant program results from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s approval of Kansas’ Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) broadband infrastructure plan. The federal CPF program is a $10 billion initiative available to states, territories, and tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act to fund capital projects. A priority of the program is to support broadband expansion to facilitate work, education, and healthcare in areas that lack access to internet speeds of 100/20 Mbps.
“By connecting 21,000 more Kansas homes to high-speed internet, we’re continuing to deliver on our bold and ambitious goal to make Kansas a top 10 state for broadband access by 2030,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “No one in our state should be without the means to connect to the world, and this new grant program will help ensure that it happens.”
Entities eligible to apply for the CPF broadband infrastructure program include internet service providers, political subdivisions, cooperatives and non-profit organizations.
“This new program will provide funding opportunities for reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure to more Kansans in underserved areas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We will continue to work with partners across Kansas to ensure communities have the high-speed broadband they need to compete and succeed in today’s world.”
The Kansas CPF broadband infrastructure grant application window will be open for four weeks beginning July 18. A full list of program guidelines and the application will be posted on the Office of Broadband Development’s website next week. The Office of Broadband Development will also be conducting a webinar to review program guidelines on Thursday, July 21, at 12:30 p.m. CDT. Registration for the meeting can be found here. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the meeting.
“The Capital Projects Fund represents the largest grant opportunity to date from the Office of Broadband Development,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Director of the Office of Broadband Development. “We are excited about partnering with providers to make a positive impact in communities that have fallen in the digital divide.”
Grant awards and awardees will be announced in October and November.