As part of ongoing, comprehensive initiatives to improve broadband access across Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly has announced 14 grant awards for broadband infrastructure projects in 18 communities statewide.
The Broadband Acceleration Grant program was created in fall 2020 to bring critically needed broadband access to Kansas communities through a competitive, matching infrastructure investment program. Overseen by the Office of Broadband Development this is the initial year in a strategic, ten year, $85 million dollar investment in the state broadband infrastructure funded in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE).
This initial round of $5 million in grant awards are matched with $5 million in private contributions from the awardees, equating to a $10 million total investment in broadband infrastructure across Kansas.
The following 14 awards were evaluated and selected from 38 applications for projects across Kansas:
|Awardee||Communities||Grant Award||Matching Funds||Total Community Investment|
|KwiKom Communications||Altoona, Fredonia, Thayer||$331,985||$331,985||$663,970|
|Moundridge Communications Network||Elyria, Hesston||$312,819||$312,819||$625,638|
|Nex-Tech||Bird City, Atwood, McDonald||$875,923||$875,923||$1,751,846|
|OnePoint Technologies||Blue Rapids||$156,202||$156,202||$312,404|
|SKT Inc.||Haysville, Sedgwick||$62,616||$62,616||$125,232|
“The efficient infrastructure deployments enabled through these grants is vital to making scarce funding dollars stretch as far as possible by building on previous successes in our pandemic response programs,” Director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development Stanley Adams said. “Governor Kelly recognizes that robust broadband access is necessary for all communities, and I appreciate her commitment to this effort. As a result, many more Kansans will be connected.”
The Broadband Acceleration Grant Program seeks to invest $5 million towards bridging the digital divide in Kansas. The program can pay up to 50% of the eligible costs for a qualifying project, up to $1 million, to fund projects that provide access to high-quality, reliable broadband throughout Kansas with priority given to applications that address unserved areas, economically distressed communities and areas of compelling need.
Eligible broadband project expenses are capital expenses directly related to a qualified broadband project, including design, engineering, permitting and construction of “last-mile” infrastructure expenses. Last mile is defined as the final leg connecting a broadband service provider’s network to the end-user customer’s on-premise telecommunication equipment. Middle-mile expenses are eligible for grant funding only when they are necessary for the provision of the last-mile services described in the application. Maintenance or operating expenses related to the project do not qualify as eligible costs.
Application period is now closed.
|In partnership with the Office of Rural Prosperity|