State Grant helps IdeaTek Bridge Digital Divide in Rural Scott County
IdeaTek Telcom, a leading provider of fiber internet in Kansas, is taking a significant step toward bridging the digital divide in rural Scott County thanks to a $132,907 grant awarded by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development.
The grant, part of the state’s Broadband Acceleration Grant program, will connect 50 underserved households in western Scott County to reliable, high-speed fiber internet. It will also build fiber to residents living in the unincorporated community of Modoc.
IdeaTek’s grants are part of the state’s larger efforts to provide high-speed broadband services to all Kansans. Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday that IdeaTek was one of eight internet service providers to receive part of the $5 million in Broadband Acceleration Grants funding. IdeaTek also received funding to build fiber to Eureka.
“The City of Scott City is excited IdeaTek was awarded this grant to provide much-needed fiber access west of the city along the K-96 corridor,” said Scott City Administrator Bradley Pendergast. “This grant will benefit employers and agricultural production in Scott County while also providing fiber access to residents in unincorporated areas of the county along this corridor. IdeaTek has been a great partner on this project, and we are excited to see more fiber expansion across Scott County.”
Scott County’s Digital Future
Residents and businesses in the country have long been struggling with substandard speeds. Investment in fiber is a game changer.
Last year, IdeaTek secured a Capital Project Fund Grant, enabling the construction of 400 miles of fiber to connect farms, feedlots, and rural residents along the U.S. 83 Highway corridor from Liberal to Scott City. The current award will expand that project to the rural area west of Scott City, along Kansas Highway 96.
“The expansion of fiber optics along the K-96 corridor by IdeaTek will bring much-needed broadband speeds to the businesses and residents who reside in the area, said Katie Eisenhour, executive director of the Scott County Development Committee who wrote a letter of support for the grant. “As one of the top ag production counties in Kansas, this connectivity is critical. Today’s agriculture requires internet connectivity and fiber will help us build on our existing strengths, as well as future growth.”
IdeaTek’s Mission: Internet Freedom for All
IdeaTek’s mission is to build fiber internet to every corner of Kansas, said IdeaTek Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Daniel Friesen. Only fiber is robust enough to support the symmetrical upload and download speeds needed for remote work, education and healthcare.
“Rural Kansas has been historically left behind when it comes to fiber infrastructure development,” Friesen said. “Our mission of Internet Freedom means we believe all Kansans should have access to ultra-speed fiber broadband – no matter if you live in a city or on a rural dirt road. Our long-term goal is to provide fiber to as many residents as we can because fiber is hands down the best technology for high-speed broadband.
“Bridging the digital divide in Kansas wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the
Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Broadband Development,” Friesen added.
The project will begin in 2024 and will be completed in phases. Building fiber takes time, but soon residents can look forward to:
- Symmetrical upload and download speeds
- Unlimited data
- No throttling, interruptions or lag time
- No annual contracts
- Friendly, Kansas-based customer service
Based in Buhler, IdeaTek is expanding rapidly. It has built fiber to more than 60 communities across Kansas – from Garden City to Chase County. IdeaTek already has made significant private investments in southwest Kansas, including building fiber in Liberal, Dodge City, Garden City and communities across Meade County.
To see if your home is in IdeaTek’s build and to sign up for service, visit hookmeup.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 4,500 miles of fiber throughout Kansas. IdeaTek has long been at the forefront of 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 10th time.