Millions awarded through Broadband ADOPT program

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Governor Laura Kelly announced on Tuesday, June 4, that seven organizations will receive a combined $3.9 million in grants through the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program. ADOPT supports the Kelly administration’s work to connect more Kansans to high-speed internet by making public Wi-Fi accessible and distributing devices in underserved areas.

“Kansans rely on technology for work, school, health care, and connecting to each other,” Governor Kelly said. “The ADOPT grants support community organizations in our shared mission to connect more people to the internet and critical digital skills.”

The program helps organizations serving Kansans move forward by ensuring that communities can access public Wi-Fi and the devices needed to participate in today’s technology-driven world.

“As internet access continues to play a more prevalent part in our day-to-day lives, high-speed internet can no longer be considered a luxury,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “Providing access to devices and accessible Wi-Fi means that we are investing in the future of Kansans and in the future of our great state as a whole.”

To continue connecting Kansans to devices and internet access across the state, an additional round of funding will open later this year with $10.4 million available.

“These awards will enhance internet access to economically distressed households and communities,” said Director of Broadband Development Jade Piros de Carvalho. “With this investment, Kansas continues to amplify digital opportunities across the state.”

ADOPT grants were awarded to:

Public Wi-Fi

• The Wichita Library Foundation, $289,270

The foundation will install nine solar-powered charging benches in low-income areas, leveraging the Wichita Public Library’s extensive reach. The benches will be enabled with free Wi-Fi so people can access the internet while charging their devices. With its seven branches, the library collaborates with non-profits to enhance reading and digital skills, offering free computing access, classes, and circulating devices to boost digital literacy. This effort is crucial in a city where more than 40,000 households lack home internet.

• Cunningham Communications, $107,279.90

Cunningham will provide public Wi-Fi to 54 outdoor and two indoor access points across 10 communities in North Central Kansas. The project ensures high-speed internet access in targeted areas, including Glen Elder State Park, sports complexes, school fields, parks, pools, golf courses, and camping sites across Mitchell, Cloud, Osborne, Jewell, and Republic counties.

• Mokan Communications, $721,111

Mokan, in partnership with several Miami County organizations, will place 21 public Wi-Fi access points in Paola Park Square and around Wallace Park. Approximately 3.53 miles of buried fiber will also provide high-speed connectivity.

• WTC, $721,111

WTC and numerous community partners will offer free public Wi-Fi to economically distressed locations in Riley County. This project will deploy 124 public high-speed, Wi-Fi internet access points.

Device Distribution

•Grey Snow Management, $370,793

Grey Snow Management, in partnership with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, will provide underserved tribal and surrounding areas with access to 150 Dell Latitude laptops, six Alienware PCs, and essential accessories. This program will enhance digital literacy and expand educational and recreational opportunities, addressing significant digital and economic disparities within tribal membership across Brown and Doniphan Counties.

• Kansas State University, $1,484,215

Kansas State University will enhance digital literacy and access in rural Kansas communities. The project seeks to bridge the digital divide by distributing Chromebooks to elementary, middle, and high school students within Kansas State University’s Rural Education Center support network. Goals include promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and ensuring sustained technology use through durable devices and support.

• Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC), $239,400

KCKCC will provide access to 350 laptops to students receiving Pell Grants, eliminating a waiting list of 40-plus students each semester. This program aims to ensure equal access to technology, crucial for academic success, employment opportunities, and essential services.

To learn more about the ADOPT program, go to https://www.kansascommerce.gov/program/challenge/adopt/.

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