Haviland Broadband, in partnership with Kiowa County Economic Development Foundation (KCED) and the City of Greensburg, is pleased to announce a Lasting Infrastructure & Network Connectivity (LINC) grant award through the Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD). This grant is an integral part of the partnership’s $5M plan to deploy 1 Gigabit high-speed fiber optic broadband to approximately 200 locations across Kiowa County.

The proposed service area covers portions of rural Mullinville, rural Haviland, rural Greensburg and the northern section of Greensburg town. These locations cannot receive high-speed broadband currently because they are served by aging copper DSL or older fixed wireless technology. The $2.5M LINC grant will directly support the Greensburg portions of the project, which will kick off early 2024 and be completed by the end of the year.

Diane Thompson, General Manager at Haviland Broadband explained, “This grant would not have been possible without the support of Economic Development, county and city officials, and the residents who provided overwhelming written support for the project. Haviland Broadband can leverage these grant and match dollars for a greater impact across the county, and we are excited to be able to do it in communities we live and work.”

The goal of the LINC program is to reduce the cost of internet service, increase its availability, and improve its performance for users. LINC will provide opportunities for increased adoption of the internet by focusing on funding for broadband infrastructure enabling end-user locations with a minimum of 100/20 Mbps speeds. Haviland received one of ten broadband infrastructure grants awarded by KOBD through this program.

KCED has developed a Broadband Strategic plan, through which this project is receiving a co-investment of $50,000 using program funds designated for broadband by the County Commission. The City of Greensburg is providing an in-kind match (valued at $10,000) by waiving right-of-way fees for construction within the city limits. The remaining portion of the project will be funded by Haviland Broadband as part of its county-wide broadband plan. In addition to the grant funded portion, Haviland Broadband will be targeting rural Mullinville and Haviland locations north of US-54 Highway in 2025. Routes within these areas are in the final stages of engineering and will be announced in the first quarter of 2025.

Julie Lyon, Director of Economic Development for Kiowa County emphasized the value of public-private collaboration, “Working with Haviland Broadband to address important issues such as reliable Broadband Access has led to a great partnership and the potential for future endeavors in other areas of Kiowa County as well. We are thrilled for the residents of Kiowa County.”

The Kiowa County Broadband Strategic Plan is a provider agnostic program that is funded by the Kiowa County Commission and designated ARPA funds from the County. The program has three primary goals: Improve broadband access in underserved areas within the County; increase broadband adoption rates among County residents; and promote economic growth and development through enhanced broadband infrastructure.

Haviland Broadband is a telecommunication, broadband and managed service provider serving south-central Kansas for 75 years. Haviland Broadband is headquartered in Haviland, KS with an additional office in Conway Springs. Over the last five years, Haviland Broadband has built fiber in the towns of Greensburg, Haviland, Argonia, Coldwater, Mullinville, Conway Springs and Norwich.