TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the release of the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal Volume 2. As part of the planning process, the public is invited to submit their comments on the planning document. Together with the BEAD 5-Year Action Plan, Volumes 1 and 2 will help identify areas of need for high-speed internet buildout across the state and outline requirements for applicants to access grant funding.
“Our vision for Kansas is one where every resident, regardless of their location, has access to affordable, reliable internet,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “The Volume 2 planning document sets a clear path to achieving that goal. I encourage all Kansans to be involved in the public comment process.”
Volume 2 outlines defined objectives for broadband infrastructure projects, transparent subgrantee selection processes, and the active participation of eligible entities, all aimed at providing affordable broadband service options to residents.
Additional components of Volume 2 include:
- Plans for equipping the workforce with the necessary skills and resources to support broadband infrastructure development
- Initiatives to promote the inclusion of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) in broadband projects
- Strategies for identifying and mitigating cost-related barriers to broadband deployment
- Consideration of the environmental impact of broadband projects and efforts to minimize their carbon footprint
- An outline of the regulatory approach to be taken by eligible entities in support of broadband infrastructure development
“As we continue to support and invest in broadband infrastructure, we’re not just connecting people; we’re creating opportunities,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “High-speed broadband promotes access to telehealth, remote work, distance learning and entrepreneurship, which enrich our communities and create pathways to prosperity for Kansans.”
The BEAD program, established by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, has allocated more than $451 million to Kansas for the development of broadband networks.
The Kansas Office of Broadband Development remains committed to its mission of closing the digital divide and looks forward to continued collaboration with stakeholders to bring high-speed broadband connectivity to all communities across the state.
“This planning document is key to guiding a historic level of investment into broadband infrastructure,” Kansas Office of Broadband Director Jade Piros de Carvalho said. “Our office is committed to an open and fair granting process that ensures the best use of public funds.”
Public comments on Volume 2 can be submitted online here until November 12, 2023.
Learn more about the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Plan here.