Sitting at the geographical center of the country, our state serves as a connector – between the West Coast and East Coast, Canada and Mexico. Kansans also serve as connectors within their communities – whether small business owners in Anthony, farmers in Yoder or state representatives in Topeka.
In my time at AT&T, I’ve also strived to serve as a connector as I understand the importance of connections – both between people and to the internet. As President of AT&T Kansas, I’m focusing my team’s efforts to connect Kansans to greater possibility through internet connectivity.
And we’re not just talking about connecting the people of the Sunflower State, we’re investing to make it happen. In Kansas, we invested nearly $1.1 billion in our wireless and wireline networks from 2017-2021.
And as a result of the billions of dollars invested in our Kansas networks, we have expanded AT&T Fiber to more than 270,000 homes and small businesses across the state– connecting Kansans to ultrafast broadband with symmetrical speeds up to 5 Gbps.
That means more of our manufacturers, educators and small business owners can count on a high-speed internet connection and a network that can handle large amounts of data – which can help support our state’s economic development.
“AT&T’s fiber investment will benefit Kansas residents and businesses,” said John Rolfe, President & CEO, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. “High-speed connectivity is a catalyst for innovation, jobs, learning, and entrepreneurship in this digital age.”
We’re proud to connect Kansans to a network with reliable technology that is built to endure – even through our toughest tornado season. In this way, we’re working towards connecting Kansans to meet their internet needs of today and in the future and offering affordable ways to gain access.
We know that getting access to affordable internet is not enough. Many people don’t have the skills or confidence to navigate the digital landscape. As a result, we’re working to connect Kansans to the tools they need to succeed in our increasingly digital world, so we’re hosting free digital literacy workshops to help newly connected parents, caregivers and families build skills and confidence to use technology safely and responsibly.
In September, we teamed up with Wyandotte/Leavenworth Area Agency on Aging to host a digital literacy workshop in Kansas City. With support from Mobility Retail, we helped 15 people develop their digital literacy skills and increase their confidence online.
We also shared information with participants about affordable internet options like our low-cost internet service.
In addition to our digital literacy workshops, we’re also working to ensure students have the tools they need to succeed. Earlier this month, we contributed $25,000 to the Wichita Boys and Girls Club to help narrow the digital divide and had the pleasure of hearing from Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson about the importance of working together to connect Kansans.
“Addressing the digital divide in Kansas has to be a community effort,” said Senate President Ty Masterson. “The Boys and Girls Club is able to continue offering important after-school tutoring in Wichita with help from companies like AT&T.”
As Senator Masterson recognizes, efforts to expand connectivity throughout the Sunshine State are going to take teamwork – and we’re excited to continue our work in collaboration with local leaders to bring internet connectivity to our communities.