Kansas Secures $452 Million for Broadband Development: A Leap Towards Digital Equity

By Trish Svoboda

On April 26, Representative Sharice Davids applauded the recent approval of Kansas’ proposal to allocate nearly $452 million towards the establishment of affordable, equitable, and dependable high-speed Internet service across the state. This federal funding, provided through the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, is aimed at ensuring that all Kansans have the opportunity to flourish in our digital economy. Davids, the sole member of the Kansas delegation to back the bipartisan infrastructure law, had earlier urged Kansans to participate in the National Broadband Map survey, which played a crucial role in determining the levels of state funding.

Rep. Davids said the existing broadband infrastructure in Kansas isn’t performing at the level required for residents to effectively utilize essential resources such as job opportunities, online education, and healthcare. She said that one of her key objectives is to ensure the effective execution of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation. She also commended the efforts of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development in turning this proposal into reality.

“The Kansas Office of Broadband Development is incredibly grateful for Representative Davids’ continued support to ensure every Kansan receives the connectivity they need to thrive in our digital society,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Broadband Director, Kansas Office of Broadband Development. “Her vote for the bipartisan infrastructure law has been a game changer for our state, and this historic investment will offer our best hope to date at closing the digital divide.”

The bipartisan infrastructure law has allocated over $578 million to Kansas with the aim of enhancing high-speed internet accessibility, expanding the state’s broadband infrastructure, and reducing the cost of high-speed internet. In December 2022, Kansas received its initial round of BEAD funding, which was used to formulate a five-year strategic plan, pinpoint areas with inadequate or no service, and strengthen the Kansas Office of Broadband Development.

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