County co-investment in a broadband grant application process was central to Tuesday’s commissioners meeting. KwiKom Communications of Iola is currently seeking the county’s assistance in a $2 million broadband project that will bring internet to the area between Iola and Humboldt, as well as near the airport.
“It’s a $1 million Kansas Broadband Acceleration grant, but a $2 million project,” noted John Terry, KwiKom Director of Government Affairs and Business. “The state will be putting $1 million towards this project and KwiKom will be investing $1 million.” Terry clarified that any county contribution will offset Kwikom’s share of the project.
Initiated in 2020, the Kansas Broadband Acceleration Grant Program aims to allocate $85 million over a decade to narrow the digital divide within the state. The program plays a crucial role in Kansas’ strategy to eliminate statewide broadband gaps. It focuses on directing funds to regions that are unlikely to have access to broadband service without financial support from the state or federal government.