March 17, 2021
K-State faculty member speaks at rural broadband announcement
Ron Wilson, director of Kansas State University's Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development, spoke at Gov. Laura Kelly's March 11 announcement of statewide Broadband Acceleration Grants.
Gov. Kelly and Lt. Gov. David Toland announced $5 million in 14 matching grant awards for broadband infrastructure projects in 18 communities statewide. One of the successful grant applicants is WTC Communications, which will be providing fiber-to-the-premise in the Zeandale/Deep Creek region near Manhattan.
Wilson spoke about the important nature of broadband access.
"From the perspective of rural development, business development, precision agriculture, health and education, this type of investment is needed now," he said.
The $5 million in grant awards, from this initial round, are matched with $5 million in private contributions from the awardees, equating to a $10 million total investment in broadband infrastructure across Kansas. The grants are funded through the Kansas Department of Transportation's Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program enacted by the Kansas Legislature in 2020.
"It's important to have reliable, high-capacity broadband access across the state," Wilson said.
Video of the announcement is available on Facebook.