The state of Kansas announced that applications are now open for the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program. The ADOPT program will award $14.7 million in grant funding to organizations addressing the challenges of broadband accessibility, affordability, and device availability.
“Every Kansan deserves the opportunity and the resources to thrive in today’s modern economy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “By increasing access to the internet through devices and public Wi-Fi, ADOPT is equipping Kansans with the tools necessary to participate and compete in our highly connected world.”
According to the state, more than 153,000 Kansans are without high-speed internet subscriptions because of barriers such as infrastructure limitations, affordability issues, and lack of access to devices and technical support. The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) is rolling out the comprehensive ADOPT program to address these challenges.
“Expanding broadband access by bringing public Wi-Fi and digital devices to underserved areas will open doors to education, remote work, health care, and more,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “This game-changing program ensures reliable access for those who need it most – which not only connects communities but fosters economic growth.”
The ADOPT program is divided into two categories: Equipment Distribution and Public Wi-Fi. KOBD explained that the maximum individual award for Equipment Distribution is $500,000; matching funds are encouraged but not required. For Public Wi-Fi, there is a 10 percent local match, and awards are capped at $800,000.
KOBD said that for the Equipment Distribution program, it will partner with entities capable of procuring, distributing, managing, and maintaining devices. Devices will be provided to individuals lacking the means to connect to the internet. The program emphasizes long-term loans for computers, laptops, and tablets, ensuring sustained access for qualifying individuals.
The Public Wi-Fi program will form partnerships to deliver solutions in unserved or underserved public spaces. The goal is to bring affordable and reliable internet services to areas lacking access.
“This program is a strategic initiative aligning with our Digital Equity Plan,” Broadband Development Director Jade Piros de Carvalho said. “By addressing device and connectivity gaps, we are laying the foundation for a more economically diverse and connected Kansas.”