The state of Kansas wasted no time in putting some of the funding it received from the federal Capital Projects Fund to work. Seven service providers will receive a total of $15.7 million to bring high-speed broadband service to underserved, economically distressed, and low-population areas of Kansas, Gov Laura Kelly announced today.
The funding will connect more than 1,900 homes, businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, and other public institutions to fast, reliable internet within two years, according to a press release.
The Capital Projects Fund made $10 billion available to states, territories, and tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act. The states could use the money for a variety of infrastructure investments, including for broadband deployment.
Each state must first send its plan for using its funding to the U.S. Treasury for approval before its funding is released. Kansas was one of the first eight states in the country approved for funding under this program and was allocated $83.5 million.
The awards announced today were from the first of three funding rounds that Kansas will be announcing. Award recipients are required to provide matching funds, which bring the total cost of the projects in today’s announcement to $19,700,991.
The state received 141 applications from providers requesting $693 million in funding. All 141 applications remain eligible for the next two rounds of funding.
The counties targeted in today’s announcement have as few as five locations per square mile — a reality that until now has prevented companies from investing the resources to provide high-speed broadband.
The following were the recipients of the first-round awards:
- Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative (Anderson and Allen counties); $4,584,590 to connect 385 premises
- Giant Communications (Jackson County); $895,295 to connect 163 premises
- MT Networks LLC (Coffey County); $2,581,932 to connect 326 premises
- Nex-Tech (Thomas County); $541,320 to connect 64 premises
- Pioneer Communications (Hamilton County); $202,484 to connect 54 premises
- S&A Telephone (Lyon County); $3,746,870 to connect 421 premises
- Totah Communications (Montgomery and Chautauqua counties); $3,244,793 to connect 500 premises
“By connecting nearly 2,000 more Kansas homes, businesses, and schools to high-speed internet, we’re continuing to deliver on our goal of giving every Kansan a connection to the world,” Gov. Laura Kelly said, in a prepared statement. “We’ve made substantial progress throughout my administration, and this funding knocks down another barrier to ensuring communities across the entire state have broadband access.”
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report