Kansas puts big bet on broadband

Kansas' governor Mark Parkinson believes broadband is essential for the state, so he has developed a 24-member task force that will help him reach his goal of bringing the service throughout the state.

This task force consists of members of the telecom industry and end-users who depend on broadband services to do their daily jobs, including public safety. In addition, Parkinson asked the state's secretaries agriculture and commerce to be on the task force, while legislative leaders will name four members.

The creation of the task force comes after the state was awarded a $174 million broadband stimulus grant for its Connect Kansas program.

One of Connect Kansas' major drives is to work with broadband providers such as Rural Telephone/Nex-Tech, which is in the process of building out a hybrid Fiber to the Home (FTTH)/WiMAX broadband network that will 23,000 homes and businesses, to understand where broadband gaps are by creating maps of broadband coverage.

Kansas, is not the only state moving to expand their broadband fortunes. Similar projects are taking place in states such as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. In Pennsylvania, the state has set a goal of bringing broadband to all of its citizens by 2015, while in Massachusetts the Open Cape initiative won a $32 million broadband grant to build out a middle mile network serving Southern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

For more:
- Kansas City Star via AP has this article

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