KwiKom Communications in partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce, Office of Broadband Development, has been awarded a Broadband Acceleration Grant to expand fiber optic Internet access in the towns of Thayer, Altoona, and Fredonia, Kansas. Receiving the Broadband Acceleration Grant will bring Internet access to an additional 829 households, 42 businesses, three educational institutions, three municipal organizations, and two healthcare organizations. KwiKom will be constructing state-of-the-art gigabit fiber connectivity to the homes and businesses of these communities within the next 12 months. With recent events it has became clear how important Internet is for education, work, and healthcare, as well as where it lacks today. Feedback from these communities has shown that the options today, where present, are insufficient and unreliable. KwiKom is committed to expanding Internet access to offer connectivity to these communities. The total investment for this project is $663,970 with fifty percent being invested by KwiKom, and $331,985 awarded from the Grant.
“The efficient infrastructure deployments enabled through these grants is vital to making scarce funding dollars stretch as far as possible by building on previous successes in our pandemic response programs,” Director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development Stanley Adams said. “Governor Kelly recognizes that robust broadband access is necessary for all communities, and I appreciate her commitment to this effort. As a result, many more Kansans will be connected.”
KwiKom is also currently constructing fiber in the communities of Iola, Garnett, Greeley, and Osawatomie, with plans to continue expanding to other future communities. In addition to fiber construction KwiKom is also continuing to expand its fixed wireless to additional rural areas and communities across Kansas.
“Internet access is more essential now than ever before, and our team has done, and will continue doing, an excellent job connecting our neighbors across Kansas,” President of KwiKom Communications Zachery Peres said. “We are excited to partner with the State of Kansas through this private public investment to expand Internet access.”
The Broadband Acceleration Grant program was created in fall 2020 to bring critically needed broadband access to Kansas communities through a competitive, matching infrastructure investment program. Overseen by the Office of Broadband Development this is the initial year in a strategic, ten year, $85 million dollar investment in the state broadband infrastructure funded in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). This initial round of $5 million in grant awards are matched with $5 million in private contributions from the awardees, equating to a $10 million total investment in broadband infrastructure across Kansas.
KwiKom Communications is a Kansas corporation, headquartered in Iola, Kansas, with the mission of providing excellent service and support. KwiKom provides Internet and telephone services, with a growing fixed wireless network area of 22,000 square miles including over 45 counties in Kansas and Missouri. In addition to fixed wireless, since 2017, KwiKom has been expanding gigabit fiber optic network services to the home and business in communities across Kansas.