Log in

USDA announces $49.9 million to connect people in rural Kansas to high-speed internet


TOPEKA, Kan. – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Kansas State Director Christy Davis announced yesterday a $49.9 million loan to connect thousands of rural Kansans to reliable, affordable high-speed internet. The project seeks to improve service for 149 businesses, 821 farms and over 4,000 people in Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette and Neosho counties.

“High-speed internet is essential in today’s world of online business, learning and communication,” Davis said. “This investment will help ensure rural Kansas remains a place of opportunity to live, work, and raise a family.”

The Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Inc. in Kansas will receive a $49,954,702 loan to connect 4,189 people, 821 farms, 149 businesses and three educational facilities to high-speed internet in Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette and Neosho counties.

This is the fourth funding round of the USDA ReConnect Program. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Department has invested in 142 ReConnect projects that aim to bring high-speed internet access to 314,000 rural Americans. 

This announcement is part of a larger national announcement totaling $714 million in USDA investments in Kansas and 18 other states.

Applicants to ReConnect Program funding must serve a rural area that lacks access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload. Applicants must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service with speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in the proposed service area. 

Additionally, to ensure that rural households that need internet service can afford it, all awardees will be required to apply to participate in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP offers a discount of up to $30 per month towards internet service to qualifying low-income households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal Lands. 

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office. 

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.