Governor Laura Kelly Announces $3.9M ADOPT Grants to Boost Internet Access in Kansas; Additional $10.4M Funding Round to Follow

By Trish Svoboda

Governor Laura Kelly announced that seven organizations will receive a total of $3.9 million in grants through the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program. Adopt supports the Kelly administration’s goal of increasing high-speed internet access across Kansas by providing public Wi-Fi and distributing devices in underserved areas. To further enhance device and internet access statewide, an additional round of funding will open later this year, offering $10.4 million.

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

The awardees for this round of ADOPT grants include:

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.

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