Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has signed a bill that will create a broadband task force tasked with expanding broadband in the state. The task force will advise and make recommendations regarding broadband issues and accessibility across Kansas.
The task force will be composed of 17 individuals including House and Senate members, representatives from counties, municipalities, phone and telecommunications associations, various carriers, Electric Co-Ops, and others.
The task force is similar to those that have been created in other states to assess broadband access gaps. Earlier this week, the South Central Kansas Economic Development District released a report showing that more than half of Kansas residents aren’t using broadband even though service is available in their area.
According to the report, broadband is primarily available through hardline access but is more limited via wireless coverage. Because of this, many rural Kansans are without access. Coverage is best in the state’s urban areas. The report did not deal directly with the cost of access which has often been cited as a barrier in other broadband adoption studies.
A timeline wasn’t provided as to when Kansas’ taskforce will make its first recommendations. In a statement, the Governor’s office said that it supports broadband expansion and recognizes its importance for economic competitiveness.