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Governor Kelly Announces More than $8M to be Invested in Digital Opportunities Governor Laura Kelly announced today that Kansas is receiving $8.2 million to begin implementing the Kansas Digital Equity (DE) Plan, which recently received federal approval. This announcement solidifies the state’s commitment to transform the landscape of high-speed internet connectivity and digital opportunity across Kansas. Nominations Open for 2024 Minority, Women Enterprise Development Awards Today Lieutenant Governor and Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland announced a call for nominations for the 2024 Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Awards. These annual awards are one way the agency acknowledges and observes the growing impact that minority- and women-led companies have on their communities and the Kansas economy. Governor Kelly Announces KMW to Invest $105M in Sterling, Create 251 New Jobs in Kansas Governor Laura Kelly today announced that KMW, a precision manufacturer of agricultural front loaders, backhoes, and other attachments, will invest $105 million to construct a new North American headquarters and state-of-the-art production facility in Sterling. The venture will create 251 new jobs, resulting in a local workforce of 485. Commerce Celebrates National Community Development Week The Kansas Department of Commerce is joining other organizations and communities across the state in commemorating National Community Development Week. The annual event, which this year is April 1-5, shines a spotlight on the transformative impact of community development initiatives and collaborative efforts that drive positive local change.  View All

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Governor Kelly Announces Kansas Wins Nearly $43M to Build Key Infrastructure for High-Speed Internet

Jun 16, 2023

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that the National Telecommunications Information and Administration (NTIA) has awarded the Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) nearly $43 million to develop infrastructure key to expanding affordable high-speed internet to remote and underserved communities. The open-access “middle mile” infrastructure will connect local Internet networks, primarily in rural areas, to major, high-capacity national and regional networks.  

The grant application was submitted in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Research and Education Network (KanREN), and private providers. Governor Kelly sent a letter in support of the application. 

“Every day, my administration works to deliver high-speed internet to more Kansas families and businesses,” Governor Laura Kelly said.“That’s why I supported our application for this grant that will set up the infrastructure needed to reach 27,000 more homes and provide opportunities for economic success across the state.” 

The NTIA’s Middle Mile Program is funded by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“The internet is used to access crucial resources such as employment opportunities, business software capabilities, virtual learning, and health care,” Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03) said. “This new federal investment will help close the digital gap and keep our communities connected – particularly those who have not had access to high-speed internet in the past. I am proud to have voted for the bipartisan infrastructure law that continues to make a positive impact on the lives of Kansas families.” 

The grant will fund a 682-mile fiber optic network to connect Liberal to Garden City, Pratt to Wichita, Kismet to Minneola, Wichita to Pittsburg, and Pittsburg to Overland Park.  

“Broadband availability is key to supporting our current economic momentum and providing the best quality of life for every Kansan,”Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “This grant will accelerate our infrastructure development across the state, positioning us to achieve Governor Kelly’s goal of becoming a top 10 state for broadband access.” 

This grant will bring numerous benefits, including: 

  • Next-generation communications for public safety and transportation 
  • Dedicated fiber network for higher education institutions, public safety organizations, hospitals, and more 
  • Enhanced connectivity for Veterans Affairs facilities 
  • Promotion of economic development 
  • Accelerated expansion to rural households and businesses 
  • Network security and resiliency 

“This award highlights the power of public and private partnerships,” said Calvin Reed, Acting Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). “Leveraging state investment to bring federal grant dollars to address this critical infrastructure need is a win for all Kansans. KDOT is excited to be part of this opportunity to move Kansas forward.”  

“Middle-mile infrastructure is crucial in bridging the connectivity gap,” said Broadband Development Director Jade Piros de Carvalho. “This award will open up opportunities for remote operations throughout Kansas and help drive commerce in previously underserved areas.”

More information about the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program is available at Middle Mile (kansascommerce.gov). Additional details about federal broadband efforts are available at AffordableConnectivity.gov and InternetforAll.gov.


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