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Kansas receives $4.4 million to expand rural broadband access

TOPEKA – Connect Kansas receive about $4.4 million in federal stimulus dollars on Tuesday to expand high-speed internet access in rural communities.

"Broadband is the driver of today's modern economy," said Brian Mefford, CEO of Connect Kansas' parent organization, Connected Nation. "This grant will help Connect Kansas expand the effort to ensure that all rural Kansans have easy access to affordable high-speed Internet.”

Connect Kansas began mapping broadband access across the state in 2009 and found approximately 28 percent of Kansas households do not subscribe to home broadband service.

The program was started last year with money from National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which also allocated the funds announced Tuesday.

"This additional funding allows us to expand high-speed Internet access, thus bringing economic opportunities and quality-of-life improvements for all Kansans,” Gov. Mark Parkinson said in a written statement.

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