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Governor Kelly Announces $5M to Expand Access to High-Speed Internet in Rural Kansas Communities

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Total Investment of Nearly $12M Made Through Matching Funds

By the Kansas Office of the Governor

 

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that $5 million has been awarded to eight internet service providers (ISPs) in the latest round of Broadband Acceleration Grants for 2023. The awards will be paired with an additional $6.6 million in matching funds, resulting in an investment of nearly $12 million for high-speed broadband access projects across 10 rural Kansas counties.

“We’re steadfast in our commitment to achieving the ambitious goal of making Kansas a top 10 state for broadband access by 2030,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Access to affordable broadband is critical for our communities to stay vibrant and competitive, and every Kansan deserves a reliable connection to participate in the digital economy – no matter their zip code.”

Initiated in 2020, the Broadband Acceleration Grant is a 10-year, $85 million program designed to bring essential internet access to Kansas communities. Administered by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and funded through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE), this latest round of grants brings the program’s total investment for broadband infrastructure since 2020 to more than $31.5 million.

“High-quality broadband is a necessity, and connectivity will enhance lives and open new doors of opportunity for Kansans,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Broadband infrastructure can propel our communities forward and support sustainable, scalable technology that will expand digital opportunities in remote work, online education and precision agriculture, among many other advantages.”

“For communities across Kansas to thrive and our state to grow, access to quality broadband is essential,” Senate President Ty Masterson said. “These grants will help level the playing field so everyone in our state has the opportunity to succeed.”

“Rural revitalization is a top priority of the legislature. One way to help our rural communities thrive is by ensuring they have the broadband access required for today’s economy,” House Speaker Rep. Dan Hawkins said. “That is why this program was included in the IKE Transportation Program. I look forward to seeing how these Broadband Acceleration Grants help these communities grow.”

“Continued in broadband is essential to helping Kansas communities thrive,” Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Calvin Reed said. “I am proud that the IKE Transportation Program helps support the buildout of our state’s broadband infrastructure with funding and strategic planning.”

The projects were selected after review by an executive committee and the public. The public comment period was provided to ensure transparency and community feedback was considered in the selection process.

“We continue to hear from communities who need better internet connection to help unlock their full potential,” Broadband Director Jade Piros de Carvalho said. “This program showcases our commitment to Kansans by investing in infrastructure that expands access and narrows the digital divide.”

The 2023 Broadband Acceleration Grant recipients are:

$5M to Expand Access to High-Speed Internet