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Governor Kelly Announces $10M for Broadband Projects in Rural Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced today that $10 million has been awarded to 12 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the latest round of Broadband Acceleration Grants. The awards will be paired with an additional $12.7 million in matching funds, resulting in an investment of nearly $22.7 million for high-speed broadband access projects across 14 rural Kansas counties. Kansas Tourism, Visit Wichita Partnering to Host 2025 TBEX Summit Kansas Tourism and Visit Wichita are proud to announce Wichita as the host city for the Travel Blogger Exchange (TBEX) Summit on October 1-4, 2025. This esteemed event will bring together leading travel bloggers, influencers, journalists, content creators and tourism industry professionals from around the globe to explore and enjoy the heart of the country. Commerce Launches Statewide Exporters Roundtable Series he International Division of the Kansas Department of Commerce today announced it will begin a monthly Kansas Exporters Roundtable series in July. With three-quarters of potential customers located outside of the United States, Commerce will visit 12 cities across the state and offer assistance for small- to medium-sized Kansas companies. Kansas Launches National Campaign to Attract and Retain Talent Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland, alongside leaders from across the state, today unveiled Love, Kansas, a dynamic talent attraction campaign aimed at boosting Kansas’ population by inviting past residents to choose the Sunflower State as their future home. This national marketing initiative will highlight Kansas as an exceptional place to live, work and raise a family, with a special emphasis on “boomerangs” – individuals with previous ties to the state. View All

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Kansas Broadband Summit

The Kansas Office of Broadband Development held its inaugural Kansas Broadband Summit on January 19 at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex. There were more than 270 engaged stakeholders and partners registered for the event.

The goal for the day was to provide an opportunity to share engagement strategies and information with key partners regarding BEAD and DE (digital equity) planning efforts. This event provided an opportunity to discuss how the Office of Broadband Development and our partners across the State of Kansas can work together to efficiently and effectively use federal and state funding to achieve the highest level of high-speed internet deployment and adoption.

Experts from National Telecommunications Information Administration, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, internet service providers, digital equity champions, and State of Kansas joined us for a day of learning, engagement, and networking.

Keynote Speaker

Angela Thi Bennett will serve as the first-ever digital equity director at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the US Department of Commerce.

She will move from her current position as DigitalC’s director of advocacy, where she has been a strong champion for digital inclusion in Cleveland. Angela has also been deeply engaged in national digital equity work for years with National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA). 

Summit Goals & Agenda

This day will provide an opportunity to share engagement strategies and information to key partners regarding BEAD and DE (digital equity) planning efforts. Connecting Kansas to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service is critical to the overall success of the state, ensuring the health and well-being of residents and a strong economy.

We will provide space to discuss ways Kansas can work together to efficiently and effectively use allocated dollars to achieve the highest level of high-speed internet deployment and adoption in an equitable manner.

Kansas Broadband Summit
January 19
Wichita State University Metroplex

Time frameEvent
8:00 a.m.– 9:00 a.m.Registration and Breakfast
9:00 a.m.– 9:15 a.m.Welcome: Kansas Perspective + Intro
Lowe Auditorium

Jade Piros De Carvalho, Director of Kansas Office of Broadband Development

This welcome will look at the incredible strides Kansas has made in expanding broadband access throughout the state and the potential for even greater digital equity for our communities with new funding opportunities through BEAD + DE planning.
9:15 a.m.–9:45 a.m.National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Lowe Auditorium

Angela Thi Bennett, Digital Equity Director
9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.Break
10:00 a.m.–10:50 a.m.From Digital Divide to Digital Equity
Lowe Auditorium

This session will feature state partners with successes in the digital inclusion space, their recommendations for best practices in rural and urban communities and how others have leveraged their institutions to serve stakeholder broadband needs. Panelists Lazone Grays, President/CEO, IBSA   Angela Thi Bennett, Digital Equity Director, NTIA   Jeremy  Hegle,  Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City   Ray Walling, Acting State Librarian, Kansas State Library Moderator Kimberlyn Jones, Digital Equity Manager, Office of Broadband
  
11:00 a.m.–11:05 a.m.
11:05 a.m.–Noon
Gov. Laura Kelly, Remarks Industry Panel- Expectations + Foundation
Lowe Auditorium

It took 35 years to build the highway system.  Hear from an industry panel on what’s reasonable and reliable to accomplish this work. Are we flipping switches?  Panelists:     Cory Davis, Director, Division of Multimodal Transportation and Innovation; Kansas Department of Transportation Candace wright, CEO, Blue Valley Technologies   James. Jamison, President-Kansas, At&t
Moderator: Jade Piros de Carvalho
  
Noon–1:00 p.m.Lunch + KC Digital Drive Showcase

Aaron Deacon, Managing Director, KC Digital Drive

Room 180 Since 2012 KC Digital Drive has been on the frontier of digital inclusion and innovation. They will share their strategic pillars and how they intersect with their areas of impact to form a brighter and expanded area of economic opportunity for the communities they serve. 
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Understanding Kansas Perspectives
Lowe Auditorium

Claudia Amaro, Executive Director, AB &C Bilingual Resources, LLCTonya Witherspoon, Associate Vice President, Industry Engagement and Applied Learning, Wichita State UniversityScott Sewell, Mainstreet Program Director, Kansas Department of Commerce
2:00 p.m. –2:10 p.m.Break
2:10 p.m.–3:10 p.m.Expanding Workforce through Digital Skills
Lowe Auditorium

Panel session will address topic of expanding entry level digital workforce capacity through GED programs, Regional Workforce Centers, Registered Apprenticeship, and the technical needs in broadband infrastructure. Panelists Laura Ritterbush; President & CEO, Goodwill Industries of Kansas   Mike Beene, Employment Services Director, Kansas Department of Commerce Shonda Atwater, Director, Registered Apprentice Program Megan Shearer, VP of Talent and Culture, IdeaTek Scott Smathers, VP Workforce Development Kansas Board of Regents Moderator: Luis Rodriguez, President, KeyCentrix, LLC, Board Member of FlagshipKansas.Tech
3:10 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.Break
3:20 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.Better Together
Steve Dickie, CharacterWorks Group, Inc.
Lowe Auditorium
3:40 p.m.–4:00 p.m.Moving Forward | Our Ask to You
Lowe Auditorium

Jade Piros De Carvalho, Director of Kansas Office of Broadband Development


4:10 p.m. -4:20 p.m.Closing Remarks
Lowe Auditorium

Lieutenant Governor/Secretary of Commerce David C. Toland

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