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Seeking Public Input For Grant Program

Lauren FitzgeraldJanuary 21, 2021

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Thursday announced that the Kansas Department of Commerce has established an opportunity for the public to learn more about the Office of Broadband Development’s Broadband Acceleration Grant program and provide input on grant requests proposed for communities across Kansas.

The goal is to gather public input regarding the grant applications and associated service areas in an effort to ensure transparency in the broadband development process. The project proposals and proposed service area maps for each grant application are posted online, along with a public comment form for those wishing to express support or share concerns regarding a project.  These resources will be posted online through Feb. 1.

“Since I took office, my administration has been committed to promoting transparency and accountability in state government – and we want to ensure that Kansans are engaged when it comes to best practices regarding broadband development in our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Connectivity is one of our top priorities, and effectively funding projects across Kansas will be a critical part of this mission. I would encourage any Kansan who wants to participate in this process to send us a comment.”

Service providers are also encouraged to submit comments and corresponding documentation should an area proposed to be served already has service available, construction is underway or planned in areas proposed to be served and will be completed within 12 months. The comments and evidence provided will be considered in the evaluation of the Acceleration Grant applications and determining final investment awards.

“As we go through the process of funding broadband projects across Kansas, we need to hear from you,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We are committed to transparency in everything we do. These funds are for establishing critical broadband infrastructure across Kansas, and we want input directly from people in our Kansas communities. If you have something to tell us about a proposed project near you, we’re listening.”

Commenters may be asked to provide additional information and/or work with the Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) to validate service availability. If a commenter is found to have submitted inaccurate information, comment submissions will be disregarded.

A link to the Public Comment page containing the proposed projects and associated proposed service area maps is available here.

Grant applicants that receive comments for their proposed project during the public comment period will have an opportunity to respond between Feb. 2-9.

About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses.

About the Kansas Office of Broadband Development

The Kansas Office of Broadband Development was established in 2020 to help ensure that all Kansans have the opportunity to live, work, learn and compete in a global economy by improving universal access to quality, affordable and reliable broadband. The Office is housed within the Community Development Division of the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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