Kansas Secures Over $450 Million to Enhance Rural Internet Connectivity

Kansas Secures Over $450 Million to Enhance Rural Internet Connectivity

Kansas’s CONWAY SPRINGS — The federal government just gave the state of Kansas more than $450 million to make it easier for people to connect to broadband internet. Wednesday, 12 News went to Conway Springs to find out how people in this rural area in western Sedgwick County feel about their better internet service.

Companies that provide high-speed internet in rural Kansas would not be able to build the necessary facilities without state funding. That’s how Haviland Broadband was able to bring high-speed internet to more rural Kansas and bring fiber internet to Conway Springs.

Haviland said that it began to improve its fiber infrastructure a little before the pandemic, with help from a state grant.

Diane Thompson, General Manager of Haviland Broadband, said, “At the time, most of it went to wireless infrastructure.” “We already had some towers, and that’s how we reach a lot of our customers.”

Most people in the Conway Springs community are happy with their internet connection. Lori Becker, who lives in Conway Springs, said she’s glad the state is spending money to give people in rural Kansas access to the internet because they don’t have so much right now.

He said, “You know if we don’t have that stuff, it limits what we can do and what we can’t.”

The government promised that all Kansans would have high-speed internet by 2030 because of this need. Kanas Governor Laura Kelly said that the state is removing barriers to high-speed internet that is affordable and easy to get to everywhere in the state. This way, people in small towns won’t have to worry about losing their internet connection.

Beaker said, “The job I have now, I can work from home, but if I don’t have that fast internet, it doesn’t work.”

The State of Kansas wants to improve its digital equity this year so that it can carry out its plans next year.

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