Per Executive Order No. 20-67, The Kansas Office of Broadband Development is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce as the state point of contact for statewide broadband initiatives.
The office makes grants and runs the Kansas Broadband Acceleration Grant Program. It provides $85 million for broadband expansion over 10 years.
Grant projects can be awarded a maximum of $1 million each in unserved areas. These areas are defined as those lacking a fixed, terrestial connection of at least 25 Mbps download x 3 Mbps upload speed.
The Broadband Acceleration Grant seeks projects that will:
- Address priorities for areas that are unserved, economically distressed and areas with compelling needs.
- Incorporate partnership and community engagement through partnership commitments, letters of support, collective investment funding or other explicitly defined involvement.
- Share project information and associated proposed service area data in full transparency for a defined public comment period.
- Meet fiscal requirements including a 50% funding match for the proposed project.
- Be constructed, installed and operational by October 31, 2023, or 18 months from the award whichever is later. -Commit to required documentation, communications, monitoring, reporting and validationrequirements.
More information and deadlines and key dates can be found here.
As of the beginning of 2022, the state has yet to allocate the billions and develop additional programs from federal recovery funding.
Programming includes the Kansas Connect & Learn Initiative, which is intended to provide bandwidth of 100mbps to Public Schools.
So far, 82% of the state obtains terrestrial broadband coverage of 25 mbps, yet 51% of residents have access to low-priced broadband plans.