Audit: Much of $48.5 million in broadband aid went to southern Kansas

Overall, auditors said, the state didn’t find a suitable recipient for $1.5 million available for broadband improvements in unserved or underserved locations. State evaluators rejected 16 applications.

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State News

September 15, 2022 - 4:32 PM

Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, speaks with Legislative auditor Sam Dodds following his presentation Wednesday at the Capitol of a report on allocation of $48.5 million in federal COVID-19 aid. The money went to 66 broadband projects across the state. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Nearly two-thirds of $48.5 million in COVID-19 funding earmarked for expansion of broadband services to Kansas homes and businesses was invested in upgrading internet connectivity in the southern half of the state, an audit report said Wednesday.

The Kansas Legislature’s auditing arm told a joint House and Senate committee the three southern regions of the state absorbed 35 of 66 grants, or $30.4 million approved by Gov. Laura Kelly and legislators on the State Finance Council. The four northern regions took on the balance of the projects, budgeted at $18.1 million.

Overall, auditors said, the state didn’t find a suitable recipient for $1.5 million available for broadband improvements in unserved or underserved locations. State evaluators rejected 16 applications.

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