TOPEKA (KSNT) – More than $40 million has been awarded to service providers in Kansas to extend high-speed internet across several underserved counties.
Cassie Nichols, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Governor, said a total of $44.5 million has been distributed to nine service providers to extend internet access to 18,468 locations in 15 counties. This will be the third and final award phase of the Kansas Capital Project Funds (CPF) Broadband Infrastructure Program.
Nichols said the CPF program provides funding to make broadband connections in critical areas of the state that don’t have access to high-speed internet. The $83.5 million total CPF investment and $42 million in matching funds will result in more than 24,500 homes, businesses, schools, health care facilities and other public institutions being connected to faster, more reliable internet for the first time.
The counties targeted by this latest disbursement from CPF have as few as five locations per square mile, according to Nichols. Through CPF, these counties will have access to high-speed broadband.
“We appreciate the support the providers and local governments are committing to ensure that all Kansans have equitable access to affordable high-speed internet,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Broadband Development director. “Supporting unserved and underserved communities across the state will continue to bridge the gap and provide a key resource for generations to come.”
In total, the Office of the Governor received 141 applications for projects with a price tag of $600 million. Out of these, 24 projects were funded. The following grant awardees and communities will benefit from the $44.5 million in CPF funds:
- AT&T (Sedgwick County) – $2,206,491
- The proposed service area is 99% unserved on the fringes of the Wichita metro area, targeting multi-dwelling unit properties. The project will offer a subsidy to assist with discounted broadband services.
- Butler Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Butler, Cowley, Sedgwick, and Sumner counties) – $9,815,894
- The multi-county region targeted is 83% unserved, and 50% of the area is located in an economically disadvantaged county. This significant investment will bring connectivity to south-central Kansas.
- Cox Communications (Jackson, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee counties) – $6,373,948
- This multi-county project is 100% unserved. To connect these rural areas northwest of Topeka, Cox will use an affordable, scalable solution already deployed in the Kansas City metro region.
- Cunningham Communications (Mitchell County) – $1,192,735
- Hundreds of residences and businesses in this 98% unserved area will be positively impacted by the Fiber To The Home network that will be provided by Cunningham Communications.
- GBT Rural (Pawnee and Stafford counties) – $6,782,694
- More than 365 square miles of an economically distressed area with a 92% unserved population will be covered by GBT Rural.
- Iowa Tribe (Doniphan County) – $1,424,945
- This very rural, remote, and economically disadvantaged area in the northeast corner of Kansas is 91% unserved. The project will be based on a partnership between the Iowa Tribe, Doniphan County, Rainbow Telecommunications, and the City of White Cloud.
- Mokan Dial (Miami County) – $5,590,145
- The 65-square-mile project area is 97% unserved. Mokan Dial will ensure symmetrical speeds up to 1G will be available and affordable to everyone in the targeted region.
- Nex-Tech (Decatur and Saline counties) – $10,764,700
- Two separate project areas servicing a 99% unserved area of Saline County and a 93% unserved area of Decatur County. These awards will allow Nex-Tech to build the necessary infrastructure required to reach these rural areas.
- WANRack (Johnson County) – $400,000
- This award will target a 100% unserved area of Johnson County. WANRack’s project will enable Kansans to participate in telehealth, remote work, educational opportunities, and the digital economy.