Broadband leaders tout initiatives, programs

Federal and state funding last year helped support nearly 100 projects to improve broadband and internet connections across the state. More could be ahead.

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State News

February 14, 2022 - 8:54 AM

State and federal funds initiated in 2020 are funding nearly 100 projects across the state, said Stanley Adams, who leads the broadband development office at the Kansas Department of Commerce. He expressed optimism with how these programs were addressing the digital divide in Kansas. Photo by (Oct. 8, 2020, photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas state broadband leaders say federal and state funding established last year to improve connectivity across the state helped support nearly 100 projects, and they are optimistic additional funds are on the way.

During the pandemic, the SPARK task force earmarked $60 million in CARES Act funding for two broadband grant programs related to the pandemic response. Connectivity Emergency Response Grants totaling $50 million are funding a total of 65 projects across the state and 25 Broadband Partnership Adoption Grants totaling $10 million helped facilitate internet access for low-income households, defraying internet subscription costs, funded hot spots, and provided devices to eligible households.

Stanley Adams, who leads the broadband development office at the Kansas Department of Commerce, said the programs are having a positive impact on communities.

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