Kansas, AT&T partner for Wichita broadband expansion by 2024

More than 10,000 residents in Wichita could have access to higher-speed internet by the end of next year, thanks to a new project to expand fiber-powered broadband.

“The city of Wichita has reached out to us saying they need more connectivity, and we agree,” said Jim Jamison, the president of AT&T Kansas. “So it’s really just a win-win, and we found a way to reach those homes.”

Once the project is finalized, AT&T will be awarded $2.2 million from the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and use AT&T private investments to fund the $10.4 million project.

The project is a part of the $45 million initiative to connect more Kansans to high-quality internet. The money is being awarded to eight other service providers in the state to give higher-speed internet to areas that lack it, according to a news release.

Fiber is a broadband connection that can reach around 20 times higher speeds than standard internet, Jamison said. For families and those with multiple people in the household, it could be a game-changer.

“For a family that’s trying to operate several computers, got kids trying to stream, a parent trying to connect to a meeting, it gives plenty of bandwidth to allow that sort of thing,” he said.

How to know if you’re included in the fiber expansion

To check to see if you’re included in the expansion area, visit AT&T’s website, type in your address and it will indicate if you’ll be included.

The map below shows what areas of Wichita are included in the project, courtesy of AT&T:

More than 10,000 Wichitans will get higher speed internet by the end of 2024 through a project by AT&T and the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. Courtesy of AT&T

Jamison said once they begin the project, they’ll call customers and inform them of their new fiber connection.

While fiber is more expensive than standard internet, Jamison said the pricing is “highly competitive.” However, there are resources available through the Affordable Connectivity Program and Access AT&T that low-income people can use toward their bills.

  • Enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program, that provides up to $30 monthly for internet services. Those on tribal lands can receive up to $75 monthly.
  • Access AT&T offers a $30 a month plan that includes unlimited data, speed up to 100mbps and more.
  • By using the Affordable Connectivity Program for $30 a month, you can cover the Access AT&T plan and get internet for free.

Lindsay Smith is a service journalism reporter for the Wichita Eagle. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Wichita State University’s student newspaper, The Sunflower, for two years. She graduated from WSU in December 2022 with a degree in journalism.

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