Giant Communications receives grant to expand service in Denison

Giant Communications has been awarded nearly $900,000 in grant funds from the state to expand internet services to residents living in Denison and the surrounding area, Gov. Laura Kelly announced on Monday. 

“This grant will allow Giant to build fiber-to-the-home to the town of Denison and close surrounding areas,” said Austin Taylor, Giant Communications general manager. “This was one of our largest problem areas during the COVID pandemic, when attempting to connect homeschoolers, anyone in need of telemedicine and folks who needed to work from home.”

A total of $15.7 million will be awarded to seven service providers, including Giant, that will bring high-speed broadband service to underserved, economically distressed and low-population areas of the state, it was reported. 

This is the first of three rounds of awards from the Kansas Capital Project Funds (CPF) Broadband Grant Program. This phase of funding will connect more than 1,900 homes, businesses, schools, healthcare facilities and other public institutions to fast, reliable internet in the next 24 months.

This funding aims to solve the “last mile” of broadband needed in critical areas, it was reported. The targeted counties have as few as five locations per square mile, which until now has prevented companies from investing the resources to deliver a quality broadband option. 

The CPF Grant Program provides the funding needed to implement high-speed broadband in these areas of the state.

“By connecting nearly 2,000 more Kansas homes, businesses and schools to high-speed internet, we’re continuing to deliver on our goal of giving every Kansan a connection to the world,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “We’ve made substantial progress throughout my administration, and this funding knocks down another barrier to ensure communities across the entire state have broadband access.”

The new grant program results from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s approval of Kansas’ Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) broadband infrastructure plan. The federal CPF program is a $10 billion initiative available to states, territories and tribal governments under the American Rescue Plan Act to fund capital projects. 

Kansas was one of the first eight states in the country approved for funding under this program and was allocated $83.5 million. The CPF program opportunity resulted in 141 applications from providers requesting $693 million in funding support to build out broadband infrastructure across Kansas.  

The service providers selected to deliver these last-mile connections will provide partial matching dollars, bringing the total project amount for the first round to $19,700,991. All 141 applications remain eligible for the next two rounds of funding.

Giant Communications will receive $895,295 in grant funds to connect 163 homes or facilities. 

“This is an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to bringing the residents of Denison, and the surrounding areas, the best connectivity and experience we can. Thank you for all your support,” Taylor said.

Other providers that received funding included:

* Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative (Anderson and Allen counties) – $4,584,590 to connect 385 premises.

* MT Networks LLC (Coffey County) – $2,581,932 to connect 326 premises.

* Nex-Tech (Thomas County) – $541,320 to connect 64 premises.

* Pioneer Communications (Hamilton County) – $202,484 to connect 54 premises.

* S&A Telephone (Lyon County) – $3,746,870 to connect 421 premises.

* Totah Communications (Montgomery and Chautauqua counties) – $3,244,793 to connect 500 premises.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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