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Governor Kelly Unveils New Designation for Kansas Cities Improving High-Speed Internet

Jan 04, 2024

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the launch of Kansas Broadband Ready Communities, a new certification from the Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) for communities working to improve access to high-speed internet.

“Participation in the Kansas Broadband Ready Communities program spurs internet access improvements and builds resilient, future-ready communities,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “A Broadband Ready Community designation signifies that a local government has taken steps toward economic growth, educational opportunities, and improved quality of life for its residents.”

With the Kansas Broadband Ready Communities designation, Kansas communities will be prepared to make their bids for service more competitive and be ready for future grant opportunities. By adopting specific local ordinances ahead of time, communities can ensure more successful and sustainable broadband deployment projects.

Communities seeking certification as a Broadband Ready Community must adopt an ordinance that aligns with the program’s minimum requirements, including:

  • Designating a single point of contact
  • Committing to a 30-day review process
  • Ensuring reasonable filing fees, not to exceed what is allowed in state statute
  • Utilizing or transitioning to electronic filing systems
  • Prohibiting discrimination in permitting procedures

“We encourage all Kansas communities to embrace the Kansas Broadband Ready Communities program, which supports innovation, preparedness, and collaboration,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Obtaining this certification is a clear way to showcase that broadband connectivity is a top priority and that communities are ready to take full advantage of the many digital opportunities available.”

KOBD recognizes the need for Broadband Ready Communities (BRC) to serve as catalysts for broadband expansion and will review standards every three years to keep pace with evolving broadband technology and requirements.

“KBRC will help communities understand how best to limit barriers to broadband infrastructure projects,” KOBD Director Jade Piros de Carvalho said. “I urge communities to seek out this certification to support their ability to attract investment into the critical connectivity they need to thrive.”

Click here for more information about the Kansas Broadband Ready program and to stay updated on its developments. KOBD will have a one-hour informational webinar starting at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 8. To register, click here.