Kansas Secures $8.2M Federal Grant for Digital Equity Plan

By Trish Svoboda

Today, April 9, Governor Laura Kelly declared that Kansas has been granted $8.2 million to initiate the implementation of the Kansas Digital Equity (DE) Plan, which has recently been federally approved. This proclamation reaffirms the state’s dedication to revolutionizing high-speed internet access and digital prospects throughout Kansas.

First unveiled in October of the previous year, the DE Plan was open to public feedback and underwent comprehensive evaluations with federal funding collaborators at the office of the National Telecommunications Information and Administration (NTIA), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. With the endorsement and financial support from the NTIA’s Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, the Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) is set to commence the execution of strategies detailed in the plan to boost digital opportunities across the state.

The DE Plan embodies an all-encompassing approach that incorporates training in digital skills, cost-effective service packages, and the provision of devices ready for broadband access. In addition, it highlights the significant influence of technology in key sectors such as health care, education, and civic participation.

The information utilized to calculate the funding distribution for each state included the total population, the count of individuals in the covered demographics, and metrics pertaining to the lack of broadband availability and usage.

The sanctioning of the DE Plan marks a substantial stride toward universal access to online education, employment opportunities, health care including telemedicine, and social services. It is in harmony with the more extensive vision delineated in the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Five-Year Action Plan.

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