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Governor Kelly Invites Public Input on Broadband Infrastructure Plan

Aug 02, 2023

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal Volume 1 is available for public viewing and comment. The BEAD 5-Year Action Plan, along with Volume 1 and Volume 2, will identify served, unserved, and underserved locations across the state and map out a plan to expand access to high-speed internet. 

The BEAD program, established by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, has allocated more than $451 million to Kansas for the development of broadband networks. 

“Universal internet access is essential, and BEAD is a catalyst to a more connected and prosperous Kansas,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “From remote work to telehealth and other critical services, my administration is committed to ensuring every Kansan has the opportunity to thrive in the digital economy.” 

Residents, community organizations, businesses, and local authorities from across the state are encouraged to participate in the public comment period for Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal. The document adheres to National Telecommunications Information and Administration (NTIA) guidelines and includes a description of each requirement and attachments. 

Volume 1 includes: 

  • Existing broadband efforts 
  • Identification of unserved and underserved Kansans 
  • List of community anchor institutions 

“It’s essential to have opportunities for meaningful public comment and connection with the Office of Broadband Development if we are to achieve the goal of universal service,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Kansas is on the path to a more digitally accessible future, and participation in the public comment period will play a crucial role in shaping the success of the BEAD program.” 

These strategic planning documents aim to bring robust broadband connectivity to every corner of Kansas, bolstering economic growth, education, health care, and public safety. 

“This historic investment will make bold strides toward closing the digital divide and empowering Kansas communities,” said Jade Piros de Carvalho, Director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. “Input from Kansans is needed to ensure everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy enhanced broadband access, creating greater opportunities for all residents.” 

Public comments on Volume 1 can be submitted online here until August 30.   Learn more about the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Plan here.