TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced a new program aimed at helping Kansas communities that lack high-speed internet. The Lasting Infrastructure and Network Connectivity (LINC) program will provide $30 million in competitive funding opportunities to build the infrastructure needed for more homes and businesses to access broadband.
“This investment builds on my administration’s commitment to bring critical high-speed internet to every corner of the state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These funds will ensure that reliable internet is available regardless of location so every Kansan can participate in the global economy.”
The goal of the LINC program is to reduce the cost of internet service, increase its availability, and improve its performance for users. LINC will provide opportunities for increased adoption of the internet by focusing on funding for:
- Broadband infrastructure enabling end-user locations with a minimum of 100/20 Mbps speeds.
- Internet Exchange Point facilities to improve the overall internet access service quality for all Kansans.
- Middle Mile infrastructure to reduce overall costs in delivering broadband to end-users.
“This new program helps to deliver on our promise to connect all Kansans,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “As we continue to lead the nation in business development, robust broadband becomes even more critical for attracting new businesses and workers to the state.”
Entities eligible to apply for the LINC program include internet service providers, political subdivisions, tribal governments, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations. Projects in higher-cost, rural areas are eligible for greater public matches to encourage providers to build out otherwise financially unviable areas. Projects submitted to the Capital Projects Funds program can be considered for these awards.
The Kansas Office of Broadband has been holding meetings across the state to solicit feedback for its five-year broadband access strategic plan. Listening sessions across the state have highlighted the need for continued investment in broadband.
“Many have shared their frustration about a lack of access to high-speed internet that is crucial to remote work and precision agriculture, among other needs,” Broadband Development Director Jade Piros de Carvalho said. “We are excited to put these dollars to work to bridge gaps in broadband service.”
The Broadband Office will have an informational webinar regarding the LINC program at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, May 4. To register, click here.