Kansas is the 28th most-connected state in the US when it comes to broadband access. According to user speed tests, Kansans experience average download speeds of about 135.9 Mbps, which is faster than some higher-ranking states, including California, North Carolina, and Michigan. While high percentages of the population in many of Kansas’ counties have access to 25 Mbps wired broadband internet services, a handful of counties have less than 50% access to the same services, and one county in the southwest of the state has 0% access at this time.
The Digital Divide in Kansas
The term ‘digital divide’ describes the technological gap between those who have access to the latest telecommunications technologies and those who do not. This digital divide can be quantified in terms of both affordability and accessibility.
In Kansas, there are 226 wired internet providers, however, 173,000 people in Kansas do not currently have any wired broadband services available at their place of residence. Statistics reveal that 88.3% of Kansans have access to broadband speeds of 25 Mbps or faster, but 307,000 residents do not have access to a connection capable of these speeds. Another 344,000 people only have one wired provider offering services at their location, which limits their choices in internet plans and means they have no option to switch, should they become dissatisfied with their current provider.
As for affordability, the most updated affordability data shows that 51.3% of people in Kansas have access to a ‘low-priced’ internet plan, costing $60 or less per month. This is nearly consistent with the nationwide average of 51.5% of consumers who have the same available to them.
In Kansas, the cities with the best combination of internet accessibility, speeds, and affordability are Prairie Village, Overland Park, Leawood, and Lenexa, with the first in the list ranking highest in the state. Prairie Village has universal broadband coverage and 100% of its citizens have access to low-priced wired broadband.
On the contrary, the cities with the worst connection in Kansas are Arnold, Burdick, Stark, and Cedar Point, with the latter ranking lowest. Nobody in any of these cities has access to wired broadband.
Learn how the state of broadband in Kansas compares to that of other states nationwide here.
Since 2010, the Kansas Department of Commerce has been awarded over $6.37 million in federal grants toward its Broadband Initiative program, which aims to expand broadband access in an effort to fuel the local economy.
Another $998,419 worth of federal grants was awarded toward the Expanding Broadband Access Across Kansas project, which targeted the expansion of broadband infrastructure in communities throughout the state.
The information above is pulled from a mix of public and private datasets. Find out more about our data here.