TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — $15.7 million has been awarded to seven service providers to bring high-speed broadband service to underserved, economically distressed, and low-population areas of Kansas.

The funds are the first of three rounds of funding from the Kansas Capital Project Funds Broadband Grant Program. This first phase will connect over 1,900 homes, businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, and other public institutions to fast and reliable internet service.

The first round of grant recipients include: 

  • Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative in Anderson and Allen counties will receive $4,584,590 to connect 385 locations 
  • Giant Communications in Jackson County will receive $895,295 to connect 163 locations 
  • MT Networks LLC in Coffey County will get $2,581,932 to connect 326 locations 
  • Nex-Tech in Thomas County will get $541,320 to connect 64 locations 
  • Pioneer Communications in Hamilton County will receive $202,484 to connect 54 locations 
  • S&A Telephone in Lyon County will get $3,746,870 to connect 421 locations 
  • and Totah Communications in Montgomery and Chautauqua counties will receive $3,244,793 to connect 500 locations 

Funding for the broadband expansion comes from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s approval of Kansas’ Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund broadband infrastructure plan. The program is a $10 billion initiative available to states, territories, and tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act to fund capital projects.

Kansas was one of the first eight states in the country approved for funding under this program and was allocated $83.5 million. The program has received 141 applications from providers requesting $693 million in funding support to build out broadband infrastructure across Kansas.

The service providers selected to deliver these last-mile connections will provide partial matching dollars, bringing the total project amount for the first round to $19,700,991. State officials say all 141 applications remain eligible for the next two rounds of funding.

“This is just the beginning of the work we’ll complete through the Capital Projects Fund,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, director of the Office of Broadband Development, in a news release. “Providers across the state have stepped up to partner with our office and the communities they serve to meet the needs of residents and businesses.”

Public comment is open on phase II of the program. If you would like to review applicants’ proposals and provide feedback to the state, click here.