The federal government has awarded grants and loans to expand broadband internet access in south central and southeast Kansas.
In the Wichita area and along the Kansas-Missouri border, Level 3 EON of Broomfield, Colo., was awarded $998,400 to build four access points on its broadband network to enable last-mile providers to offer affordable high-speed services to underserved areas.
The project would enhance broadband for as many as 50,000 households and 3,600 businesses and community institutions.
All four Wichita-based applicants were turned down in the first round of grants. They included Pixius Communications, Sunflower Broadcasting, SyCom Services, and Oaklawn Improvement District.
A second round of applications closes on Monday.
In southeast Kansas, Totah Communications was awarded $8.5 million in grants and loans to upgrade existing copper-fed DSL nodes to fiber-fed DSL nodes and install additional fiber-fed DSL nodes throughout northeastern Oklahoma and southeast Kansas.
The project would mean 60 jobs saved and/or created and improved Internet access to 800 new customers.