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Seven organizations are receiving a total of $3.9 million from the state of Kansas for public Wi-Fi and for devices such as PCs and laptops.

The funding came through the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced.

“These awards will enhance internet access to economically distressed households and communities,” said Kansas Director of Broadband Development Jade Piros de Carvalho in a prepared statement. “With this investment, Kansas continues to amplify digital opportunities across the state.”

“Kansans rely on technology for work, school, health care, and connecting to each other,” Kelly said in a prepared statement. “The ADOPT grants support community organizations in our shared mission to connect more people to the internet and critical digital skills.”

ADOPT grants for public Wi-Fi were awarded to four entities, including three local broadband providers:

  • The Wichita Library Foundation, $289,270: The foundation plans to install nine solar-powered charging benches in low-income areas, leveraging the Wichita Public Library’s extensive reach. The benches will be enabled with free Wi-Fi, enabling users to access the internet while charging their devices.
  • Cunningham Communications, $107,280: The company will use the funds to provide public Wi-Fi to 54 outdoor and two indoor access points across 10 communities in north central Kansas. The project is designed to provide high-speed internet access in targeted areas, including Glen Elder State Park, sports complexes, school fields, parks, pools, golf courses, and camping sites across Mitchell, Cloud, Osborne, Jewell and Republic counties.
  • Mokan Communications, $721,111: In partnership with several Miami County organizations, Mokan will place 21 public Wi-Fi access points in Paola Park Square and around Wallace Park. The approximately 3.53 miles of buried fiber will also provide high-speed connectivity.
  • WTC, $721,111: Numerous community partners and WTC will offer free public Wi-Fi to economically distressed locations in Riley County via 124 public high-speed, Wi-Fi internet access points.

Cunningham Communications, Mokan Communications and WTC are all local broadband providers in the state.

In addition, grants were awarded to three organizations — Grey Snow Management, Kansas State University, and Kansas City Community College — for the distribution of devices such as laptops and accessories.

An additional round of funding will open later this year with $10.4 million available for more public Wi-Fi and devices.

Additional information about Kansas internet connectivity, including links to state funding resources, other awards made and state-specific Telecompetitor coverage can be found on the Telecompetitor Broadband Nation webpage for the state.

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