Gov. Laura Kelly works to end broadband access issues in Kansas

Local News

MCFARLAND, Kan. (KSNT)- Governor Laura Kelly is working to put an end to broadband access issues in Kansas.

Kelly was in McFarland, a town with a population of 250 people, on Thursday to announce the first round of investments from the broadband grant program. In 2020, she launched the Office of Broadband Development to help smaller communities like McFarland.

“We know broadband is a game changer,” Kelly said. “Particularly for rural and underserved areas of our state. We know broadband connectivity can close the equity gap between communities and bridge the urban rural divide.”

After a year of facing challenges due to the pandemic, like remote learning and online jobs, Kelly said she realizes internet is more important now than ever before.

An employee at Kansas State University, Ron Wilson, shared his own challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“As a K-State employee I’ve been working from home for nearly a year. I’m in my basement trying to connect with our clients and co-workers,” Wilson said.

Kelly announced in McFarland that 14 new projects are receiving $10 million in broadband investments. She said $5 million in broadband acceleration grants will be combined with each applicant 5% matching contribution.

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