TOPEKA – Prospective applicants for the Broadband Acceleration Grant Program at the Kansas Department of Commerce now may submit their intent to apply. The program was created to expand broadband access to rural and underserved communities across the state.
Over the next 10 years, the program seeks to invest $85 million toward bridging the digital divide in Kansas, with broadband modernization funding provided through swift legislative action during the 2020 session.
A maximum of $1 million per grant will go toward funding projects that provide access to high quality, reliable broadband throughout Kansas, with priority given to applications that address unserved areas, economically distressed communities, and areas of compelling need. The deadline for intent to apply has been extended to Friday, December 18, 2020, with final applications due by noon on January 7, 2021.
“These grants are a critical part of my administration’s work to provide underserved Kansans with the high-speed internet they need to compete economically and to improve access to health, education, and commercial tools,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We are working quickly to ensure our communities, no matter their zip code, are adequately equipped for prosperity and growth, as Kansas continues to rebuild its foundation.”
Broadband Acceleration grants will specifically assist with projects that address priorities for unserved, economically distressed, and service areas with compelling needs.
Applicants are expected to engage community leaders and stakeholders in developing projects that are strategic, scalable, and bridge critical access gaps to support the quality of life considerations and economic viability for Kansas citizens and communities.
A grant application workshop webinar will be offered by the Office of Broadband Development on Thursday, December 17 at 12:30 p.m. for entities interested in applying for the grant.
This new grant program is the latest signal of the Kelly administration’s continuing efforts toward increasing connectivity across the state. Previously, Governor Kelly announced nearly $50 million in Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG) funds through the SPARK grant program to underserved communities across the state, with 66 broadband projects designed to address pandemic-related health, education, and business challenges.