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Governor Kelly Announces Recipients of More than $500K in Registered Apprenticeship Grants Governor Laura Kelly today announced a total of $528,478 has been awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce to eight entities across the state for projects that will attract and retain employees and build the state workforce through registered apprenticeships. Virtual Job Fair to Highlight Hundreds of State Agency Opportunities Jobseekers are encouraged to attend the upcoming State of Kansas Agencies Virtual Job Fair from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 27. This month’s virtual fair, hosted by KANSASWORKS, will feature many exciting employment opportunities available across the state’s 98 government agencies. Currently, there are more than 700 vacancies across the state. Governor Kelly Travels to Japan, South Korea to Create More Jobs for Kansans This week, Governor Laura Kelly traveled to Japan and South Korea to participate in the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association (MWJA/JMWA) Conference. While there, she met with business leaders to continue building on Kansas’ historic economic development success and create new job opportunities for Kansas workers. Kansas Commerce Department Hires New International Director Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced today Laura Lombard has been named the agency’s new International Director. Lombard brings 15 years of experience in international relations and business development to the position, most recently serving as President and CEO of Kansas Global Trade Services in Wichita. View All

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Broadband Acceleration Grant
Year 3

Connecting Kansans to Opportunity

Broadband Acceleration Grant Program 3.0

Broadband Development Logo

The Broadband Acceleration Grant Program is a critical program in Kansas’ plan to address broadband gaps. The Program is designed to offset the capital expenses in the deployment of broadband to unserved areas. The goal of this program is to facilitate broadband access to all Kansans while promoting practices that increase deployment and encourage adoption.

The Broadband Acceleration Grant program is the first state-funded competitive broadband grant opportunity, focusing on the construction of broadband infrastructure to bring access to high-quality internet service to Kansas homes, businesses, and communities. The need for access to critical broadband infrastructure was significantly magnified in 2020. Demands of remote learning and work, telehealth services, online business and e-government shifts, and day-to-day quality of life implications that demonstrate a compelling need exists in many areas across Kansas.

The program launched in 2020 and is in the process of investing $85 million over ten years toward bridging the digital divide in Kansas. It was created as a direct result of broadband modernization funding provided through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation program (IKE) in the 2020 legislative session. Administered by the KOBD, the program allots $5 million annually for the first three years, and $10 million annually for the following seven years.

The KOBD is initiating the Broadband Acceleration Grant, Year 3 (BAG 3.0) Program which is a focused effort to improve last mile broadband infrastructure and associated middle mile capabilities as applicable within the State of Kansas. Through this program, applications will be solicited, and grants will be awarded for broadband and associated middle mile infrastructure enabling last mile locations. Funds will be targeted to areas that are unlikely to receive broadband service without state or federal funding support. The sections outlined within this document will describe the solutions being requested, program guidelines and application requirements for enabling unserved locations via new broadband infrastructure.

Public Proposals and Comment Portal

The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) has opened the public comment period related to the Broadband Acceleration Grant 3.0 submissions. In efforts to optimize broadband investment in Kansas, promote fiscally responsible practices, and ensure transparency, KOBD is seeking public comment relative to projects requesting funding through the Broadband Acceleration Grant 3.0. The comment period closed on September 5, 2023 at 5 pm CST. To that end, each Broadband Acceleration Grant 3.0 Public Project Proposal and Public Proposed Service Area Map (zip file with .KMZ map(s)) are available for public consumption and comment. This public comment process is intended to allow the public, internet service providers, and interested stakeholders to provide feedback, support, or express concern to KOBD relative to each project seeking investment in broadband infrastructure projects. All comments collected during the public comment period will be posted as part of public disclosure, except for evidence with specific infrastructure assets deemed “proprietary.”

Questions about the public comment may be directed to the KOBD at [email protected].

Upcoming Award Timeline

  • 09/5/2023: Public Comment Closes
  • 09/14/2023: Applicant Response to Public Comment Window Opens
  • 9/27/2023: Applicants Response to Public Comment Window Closes
  • 10/26/2023: Applicant Interviews
  • 11/14/2023 Finalist Selected for Leadership Review
  • Late November: Award Announcement

Considerations Related to Public Comment Process

Please note the following considerations related to the public comment process:

  • Applicants will have an opportunity to respond to public comments received from September 13 through September 26, 2023.
  • Service at or exceeding 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload must be available to all residential customers in the defined area for an area to be considered served.
  • Providers are encouraged to submit comments and corresponding documentation with supporting evidence if the area proposed to be served already has service available, construction is underway in the area to be completed within 12 months, or if there is construction planned in the proposed area to be completed within 18 months. The impact of received comments will depend on the totality of the circumstances presented and the documentation and evidence submitted with the comments.
  • Comments regarding any of the above must include supporting evidence and documentation and include information beyond the FCC data.
  • Comments with insufficient evidence or documentation will not be considered.
  • Should evidence demonstrate that an area is currently served (with a 100/20 Mbps), that portion of the grant area may be disqualified.
  • In order for a defined area to be considered served, service at or exceeding 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload must be generally available to all residential customers in the defined area.
  • Grant applicants will have an opportunity to respond to comments received.
  • Commenters may be asked to provide additional information and/or work with KOBD to validate service availability.
  • If a commenter is found to have submitted inaccurate or misleading information, comment submissions will be disregarded, and they may be deemed ineligible to participate in future opportunities.
  • Comments marked proprietary/private or including personally identifiable information not considered in the public domain will be redacted. Please mark all private files “proprietary”. 
Applicant Response to Public Comment

Applicant Response to Public Comment

Broadband Acceleration Grant 3.0 applicants have an opportunity to respond to the public comments received for their proposed grant projects as submitted to the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. Responses regarding concerns or supporting comments may be submitted through 11:59 p.m. CST on September 27, 2023, and will be considered in final grant evaluations conducted by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. Thank you for your engagement in this process and efforts to expand broadband access in Kansas.

Public Comment Compliance

Public Comment Compliance:

If KOBD denies an application for a grant based on “Planned But Not Underway” and “Project Underway” challenges:

  • KOBD reserves the right to require a bond, Letter of Commitment (LOC), or financial guarantee from provider submitting the challenge prior to application denial to ensure project completion.
  • If the challenger does not provide broadband internet service to the proposed project area that is “planned but not underway” within eighteen (18) months, the challenger may not be able to challenge any grant application or apply for any grant programs within the State of Kansas for the following two fiscal years, starting from the end of the eighteen (18) month period.
  • If the challenger does not provide broadband internet service to the proposed project area of the “project underway” identified in the public comment within twelve (12) months of the program award, the challenger may not be able to challenge any grant application or apply for any grant programs within the State of Kansas for the following two fiscal years, starting from the end of the twelve (12) month period.
Proposed Projects & Folder Links
Proposed ProjectProposed CountyProject Folder
Proposed Project NumberPublic Comment Received
AMG Technology FrankfortMarshallLink to Project Folder1X
AMG Technology WatervilleMarshallLink to Project Folder2X
Butler Electric Coop Butler WestButlerLink to Project Folder3X
BVT NemahaNemahaLink to Project Folder4
Charter Communications WyandotteWyandotteLink to Project Folder5X
Cox Communications Cedar Creek 3PottawatomieLink to Project Folder6X
Cox Communications N of Garden CityFinneyLink to Project Folder7X
Cox Communications N of HutchinsonRenoLink to Project Folder8
Cunningham Communications CloudCloudLink to Project Folder9X
Cunningham Communications JewellJewellLink to Project Folder10X
Cunningham Communications MitchellMitchellLink to Project Folder11X
Cunningham Communications RepublicRepublicLink to Project Folder12X
EpicTouch Liberal1SewardLink to Project Folder13X
EpicTouch Liberal2SewardLink to Project Folder14X
GBT HudsonStaffordLink to Project Folder15X
Giant Communications Ozawkie/OskaloosaJeffersonLink to Project Folder16
Haviland Broadband Rural WilmoreKiowa, ComancheLink to Project Folder17
IdeaTek EurekaGreenwoodLink to Project Folder18
IdeaTek HighlandsRenoLink to Project Folder19X
IdeaTek N.AugustaButlerLink to Project Folder20X
IdeaTek RenoWestRenoLink to Project Folder21
IdeaTek W.ScottCityScottLink to Project Folder22
JBN AgendaRepublicLink to Project Folder23
KwiKom Montgomery1MontgomeryLink to Project Folder24
KwiKom Montgomery2MontgomeryLink to Project Folder25
Midco LecomptonDouglasLink to Project Folder26X
Pioneer Communications RichfieldMortonLink to Project Folder27
Pioneer Communications Stevens EastStevensLink to Project Folder28
Rainbow Communications SenecaNemahaLink to Project Folder29
Southern Kansas Telephone CambridgeCowleyLink to Project Folder30
Southern Kansas Telephone LathamButlerLink to Project Folder31
Twin Valley WellsvilleFranklinLink to Project Folder32X
WTC RileyRileyLink to Project Folder33X

“Through this program, we are empowering communities to enhance their digital infrastructure, driving economic growth and fostering greater opportunities for all residents,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Director of the Office of Broadband Development. “By leveraging these grants, we can expand broadband access, narrow the digital divide and unlock the full potential of our state’s diverse regions.” 

Program Resources

BAG 3.0 Webinar + PowerPoint
Project Ineligibility Map

Coming Soon

Key Definitions

Adoption Efforts  
Adoption goes beyond access to high-speed internet and speaks to the ability of individuals and communities to harness access for quality-of-life implications.  These efforts may include digital literacy training, low-income assistance programs (for equipment and/or broadband service), partnerships with co-working or entrepreneurship organizations, awareness or marketing campaigns, service provision to community anchor institutions and/or additional programing, and other programs designed to meet the needs of the local community. 

Applicant Match 
At the time of application submission, the applicant must demonstrate available cash reserves in an account(s) of the applicant equal to at least the required amount specified in the sliding scale match table.  Matching funds must be used solely for the Project and shall not include any financial assistance from federal sources unless there is a federal statutory exception specifically authorizing the federal financial assistance to be considered as such.  An applicant must provide evidence of its ability to comply with this requirement in its application (www.ecfr.gov).

Broadband
Broadband or high-speed internet access allows users to access the internet and internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than those available through “dial-up” services.  Broadband speeds vary significantly depending on the technology and level of service ordered.  For additional information, visit the source of this information: Getting Broadband Q&A | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)

Co-Investment 
Any funds provided by sources other than the applicant such as local, county, and eligible state programs or other contributors. 

Community Anchor Institution
Community anchor institution means schools, libraries, medical and healthcare providers, public safety entities, community colleges and other institutions of higher education, and other community support organizations and agencies that provide outreach, access, equipment, and support services to facilitate greater use of broadband service by vulnerable populations, including low-income, unemployed, and the aged (www.usac.org). 

Covered Population 
Covered populations include aging individuals, incarcerated individuals, other than individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal correctional facility; veterans; individuals with disabilities; individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who (i) are English learners; and (ii) have low levels of literacy; individuals who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group; and individuals who primarily reside in a rural area. 

Economically Distressed Community 
An area is economically distressed if it has a per capita income of 80 percent or less of the national average, or if it has an unemployment rate that is, for the most recent 24-month period for which data are available, at least one (1) percent greater than the national average unemployment rate.  The Kansas counties meeting this definition are in the table below:

Economically Distressed Counties in Kansas 

Allen Elk Lincoln Russell 
Anderson Ellsworth Lyon Scott 
Atchison Finney Marion Seward 
Barton Ford Mitchell Smith 
Bourbon Franklin Montgomery Stafford 
Brown Geary Morris Stevens 
Chase Graham Morton Sumner 
Chautauqua Greenwood Neosho Washington 
Cherokee Hamilton Norton Wichita 
Clay Harper Osage Wilson 
Cloud Jackson Pawnee Woodson 
Cowley Jewell Reno Wyandotte 
Crawford Kearny Republic  
Doniphan Kiowa Rice  
Edwards Labette Rooks  

The counties listed above can also be found at the Stats America website via http://www.statsameri-ca.org/distress/distress.aspx using the five-year threshold.   

Last Mile 
Last mile refers to the network infrastructure that carries signals from the network to and from the end-user premise.  Depending on the network design and density of the area served, the actual distance of the last mile can be relatively short or maybe considerably longer than a mile.  

Middle Mile 
Middle mile refers to the portion of the telecommunications network that connects a network operator’s core network to the local network (last mile) plant.  Middle mile facilities provide fast, large-capacity connections ranging from a few miles to a few hundred miles.  

Partnership
A formal relationship between two or more parties that enter into an agreement for the sake of advancing broadband enablement.   

Project 
An applicant’s proposal to serve qualifying broadband speeds to unserved areas. 

Required Applicant Match 
The percentage of funds required by the applicant for the program. 

Scalability
The capacity to change the size or scale of the broadband architecture to achieve substantially higher speeds (up to 10 Gbps) with minimal to no investment. 

Subsidy
Assistance program applicants are enrolled in to assist with the monthly cost of services.  Federal programs include the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), or Lifeline.  

Unserved 
For purposes of the LINC Broadband Infrastructure Program, an unserved area is defined as a designated geographic area in which households or businesses are without a fixed, terrestrial connection supporting at least 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Questions

Q:  Here are the questions I have.  These are all from looking through the program guidelines and most specifically Table 1: BAG 3.0 Program Comparison to Previous Capital Projects.  Items I would like further description/definition on are the following:

  • Regional Award Distribution
  • Covered Population
  • FCC Service Availability Database

A: Additional information is provided below for the Regional Award Distribution, Covered Population and FCC Service Availability Database categories:

  • Regional Award Distribution:  KOBD will ensure grant awards are distributed fairly across Kansas regions and that all parts of Kansas have an opportunity to benefit from the Broadband Acceleration Grant, Year 3 (BAG 3.0) program.  While the awarded grant amounts may indeed not be equal across all regions, there will be a focus to try and ensure all regions across the state have a program awarded under this grant program.  Further, all applications will be equally evaluated to ensure they meet all of the basic requirements as outlined in the guidelines.
  • Covered Population:  The definition for Covered Populations is included in the Definitions section of the BAG 3.0 Guidelines on page 47 and is listed below:
  • Definition – Covered populations include aging individuals, incarcerated individuals, other than individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal correctional facility; veterans; individuals with disabilities; individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who (i) are English learners; and (ii) have low levels of literacy; individuals who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group; and individuals who primarily reside in a rural area.  The Digital Equity By State hyperlink below provides access to a PowerBI site that showcases digital equity gaps for Kansas, in addition to all 50 states (Digital Equity By State).  The Covered Population definition and references can also be found on page 47 of the BAG 3.0 Program Guidelines.
  • FCC Service Availability Database:  The FCC Service Availability Databases are the tools that the FCC provides to the public, service providers, and other organizations involved with the broadband industry to track and provide associated information about broadband service availability within the United States and associated territories.  There are two such databases created for this purpose:  The FCC Form 477 tool and The FCC Broadband Data Collection Fabric and Service Availability Data found at the following links:

The FCC is no longer accepting Form 477 data updates as of December 31, 2022 and the tool has been replaced by the FCC National Broadband Map, also known as the FCC Broadband Data Collection (BDC) Fabric.  All service providers are required to upload their service availability information into FCC Broadband Data Collection Fabric application twice a year to reflect their service capabilities on a per location basis.  The BAG 3.0 program uses the FCC BDC information to measure service provider’s service coverage and to determine the degree of unserved within an applicant’s proposed service area.  The details of this process and instructions on how to submit such information within the application process can be found within the BAG 3.0 Program Guidelines, pages 20 – 35.

Financial Questions

No questions have been submitted at this time.

Technical Questions

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