IdeaTek's Friesen named to Kansas SPARK panel
Feb. 1, 2022
IdeaTek’s Friesen named to Kansas SPARK panel
TOPEKA — IdeaTek co-founder and chief innovation officer Daniel Friesen has been named to a special task force charged with recommending how federal COVID-19 relief money for broadband is spent in Kansas.
The SPARK executive committee — short for Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas — named Friesen to the task force’s Connectivity Advisory Panel. Friesen represents the state’s competitive rural internet providers on the panel.
“COVID-19 magnified the struggles many still have in connecting to the internet for work, school and healthcare,” Friesen said.“ Closing the digital divide with long-term sustainable broadband infrastructure is one of the most pressing issues of our time and essential to Kansas’ competitive edge in the digital age.
“I’m eager to put IdeaTek’s experience to work with my fellow committee members to bring greater access to Kansans across the state,” Friesen added.
The Connectivity Advisory Panel is one of four SPARK advisory panels that gather information and feedback from Kansans on the distribution of funds allocated to the state through the American Rescue Plan, or ARPA. Each panel recommends investments to the executive committee, and the executive committee then makes recommendations to the State Finance Council.
Besides connectivity, panels focus on health and education, economic revitalization and efficiency and modernization.
Topics the Connectivity Advisory Panel will evaluate include connectivity expansion, affordability and sector-specific applications like telehealth and digital education. The public is encouraged to provide input for the panel by submitting ideas to https://covid.ks.gov/spark-submission-form.
IdeaTek was founded by Friesen and four high school friends in 1999. Today, the company employs over 120 Kansans and is continuing to grow. The team is dedicated to the mission of connecting underserved communities with affordable high-speed internet.
To date, IdeaTek has deployed more than 4,000 miles of fiber — plus built more than 100 fixed wireless towers — serving customers in over 50 Kansas communities.
For more information about IdeaTek, visit ideatek.com.
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.