IdeaTek awarded Kansas broadband grant to bring fiber to eastern Seward County

May 20, 2022

IdeaTek awarded Kansas broadband grant to bring fiber to eastern Seward County

Internet Freedom™ will soon arrive for residents in eastern Seward County.

Today, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced IdeaTek was one of 11 recipients awarded a Broadband Acceleration Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce. The awards total more than $10 million of investment in high-speed broadband access across 10 Kansas communities.

IdeaTek, a Buhler-based internet service provider, will receive grant funding of almost $260,000 to build fiber internet infrastructure for more than 220 homes in eastern Seward County. The total project cost is $519,504, with IdeaTek investing an additional $260,000.

“Dependable internet service is essential for Seward County to grow and prosper. Our businesses need it. Our residents need it,” said Rozelle Webb, chief executive officer for the Liberal Chamber of Commerce. “IdeaTek has been a great partner in Liberal, and their current customers tell us they are very happy.”

Eli Svaty, the executive director of the Seward County Development Corporation, added that IdeaTek already has a proven track record when it completed a Broadband Acceleration Grant project to bring fiber internet to residents in the nearby communities of Kismet, Plains and Meade.

“Rural Kansas has been historically left behind when it comes to fiber infrastructure development,” Svaty said. “These communities were suffering from a lack of committed and quality providers. As a homegrown company from Kansas, IdeaTek knows what it means to be a Kansan and why our people deserve the same high-speed internet as the rest of the country. Their mission of serving rural communities already sets an example.”

Launched in 2020, the Broadband Acceleration Grant program is poised to invest $85 million to bridge the digital divide in Kansas. The Legislature approved funding for this program as part of the state’s comprehensive 10-year transportation program.

The program is designed to fund projects that bring high-quality internet service to Kansas homes, businesses and communities. It’s also one of the key building blocks established by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. All told, the program’s broadband infrastructure investment in Kansas communities is more than $70 million.

While Kansas has made substantial progress in closing the digital divide, some areas of rural Seward County continue to suffer from slow or spotty broadband access, said Daniel Friesen, IdeaTek Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer. The grant award is a step in bridging the gap.

“A dirt road is no longer an excuse for poor broadband service,” Friesen said. “Our mission of internet freedom means we believe everyone should have access to high-speed fiber internet – no matter where they live. We are prepared to take advantage of every opportunity to provide residents with the connectivity they deserve.”

Crews will begin work on the Seward County project this summer. Project completion is slated for late 2022. Residents can learn more about service options and pricing at IdeaTek is accepting sign-ups for this new service area immediately. Residents are encouraged to complete the form at as soon as possible to ensure the earliest possible installation.

About IdeaTek Telcom
IdeaTek Telcom, LLC, is a Buhler, Kansas-based broadband service provider with the mission of “fighting for internet freedom™.” IdeaTek uses a unique and innovative approach to deploy scalable, long-term fiber optic infrastructures, bridging the broadband gap in rural communities. The company has already successfully built over 3,600 miles of fiber throughout Kansas. IdeaTek has long been at the forefront on broadband equity issues and is committed to enriching the communities in which they operate. They were recently named to Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing companies for the eighth time.

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