Local providers won the vast majority of funding in the latest round of rural broadband funding in Kansas. Midco, which is based in South Dakota and operates in several states, also won an award.
A total of $5 million was awarded, and awardees will contribute an additional $6.6 million for total project costs of nearly $12 million. In comparison with some other state broadband funding programs, a hefty portion of total costs will be borne by the providers.
Funds will go toward broadband deployments in 10 counties. The awards were made in the state’s Broadband Acceleration Grant Program.
A total of eight providers won funding. Of the seven Kansas companies, four are incumbent rural providers that can trace their roots back for as much as 100 years or more. The other three were established in 1999 or later.
Some of the companies that were established more recently focused initially on fixed wireless. But Kansas Broadband Director Jade Piros de Carvalho told Telecompetitor in an email that all the awards were for fiber broadband deployments.
The biggest winner was IdeaTek, which won two awards totaling nearly $2 million to bring high-speed broadband to 1,537 locations in two counties. That company was founded in 1999.
Following IdeaTek was KwiKom, which won two awards totaling almost $1.4 million to bring service to 223 locations in two counties. KwiKom was established in 2010.
The third and fourth biggest winners were incumbent rural providers. WTC and and SKT-Twin Valley won $621,531 and approximately $615,900, respectively. SKT-Twin Valley won two awards.
Midco came in fifth, taking home $546,923. Other providers winning funding include Pioneer Communications, Haviland Broadband and Blue Valley Technologies.
Below and at this link is a complete list of awardees, including amount awarded, matching funds, number of locations to be connected and counties to be served.
“We continue to hear from communities who need better internet connection to help unlock their full potential,” said Piros de Carvalho in a prepared statement. “This program showcases our commitment to Kansans by investing in infrastructure that expands access and narrows the digital divide.”
Additional information about Kansas broadband, including links to state funding resources, Telecompetitor coverage and more, can be found on the Broadband Nation page for the state.