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21,000 More Kansas Homes Will Soon Be Connected to High-Speed Internet

Date:

$83.5M in Grants Are Available to Expand Broadband Access in High-Need Areas

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that more than 21,000 Kansas homes and businesses are set to receive high-speed internet access for the first time thanks to an $83.5 million grant program through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Broadband Development.

The new grant program results from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s approval of Kansas’ Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) broadband infrastructure plan. The federal CPF program is a $10 billion initiative available to states, territories, and tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act to fund capital projects. A priority of the program is to support broadband expansion to facilitate work, education, and healthcare in areas that lack access to internet speeds of 100/20 Mbps.

“By connecting 21,000 more Kansas homes to high-speed internet, we’re continuing to deliver on our bold and ambitious goal to make Kansas a top 10 state for broadband access by 2030,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “No one in our state should be without the means to connect to the world, and this new grant program will help ensure that it happens.”

Entities eligible to apply for the CPF broadband infrastructure program include internet service providers, political subdivisions, cooperatives and non-profit organizations.

“This new program will provide funding opportunities for reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure to more Kansans in underserved areas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We will continue to work with partners across Kansas to ensure communities have the high-speed broadband they need to compete and succeed in today’s world.”

The Kansas CPF broadband infrastructure grant application window will be open for four weeks beginning July 18. A full list of program guidelines and the application will be posted on the Office of Broadband Development’s website next week. The Office of Broadband Development will also be conducting a webinar to review program guidelines on Thursday, July 21, at 12:30 p.m. CDT. Registration for the meeting can be found here. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the meeting.

“The Capital Projects Fund represents the largest grant opportunity to date from the Office of Broadband Development,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Director of the Office of Broadband Development. “We are excited about partnering with providers to make a positive impact in communities that have fallen in the digital divide.”

Grant awards and awardees will be announced in October and November.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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