Kansas City Star

Internet access isn’t a luxury—it’s a ‘must have.’ The Affordable Connectivity Program is crucial

Reliable internet is a basic need for families today. For thousands that access is made possible through government support programs. One of the most important of these is the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP, which helps bridge the digital divide significantly.

Why a Johnson County town’s push to get broadband is headed toward a DA investigation

City leaders told residents in Spring Hill (KS) that their notoriously unreliable internet service would soon improve, igniting hope that they could effortlessly stream Netflix or pay the bills online without relying on a mobile hot spot. But recently in some quarters, hopes for fiber optic internet at every home and business have twisted into suspicions over how the city government operates.

Not connected and no Netflix: ‘It’s frankly embarrassing’ in these Kansas towns

The internet service was so bad at Citizens State Bank in Cottonwood Falls that its computers could hardly handle a routine update from Microsoft. So not too long ago, bank vice president Matt Lindamood loaded up the PCs and drove them over to Emporia, 30 minutes away. There, he connected the desktop computers to a fiber internet connection. “What we couldn’t get done here happened in a matter of minutes there,” he said. Such is life for a small-town Kansas bank — and most everyone else, for that matter — as politicians talk about the need to improve rural broadband year after year.

Trump administration will let the private sector lead in developing 5G

As the head of the Federal Communications Commission, I’ve been working for the past two-plus years to advance a market-based strategy to promote US leadership in 5G. As part of what we call our 5G FAST Plan, the FCC finished its first 5G spectrum auction in Jan, and we’re holding a second right now that’s already generated almost $2 billion in bids. The recipe for US leadership in wireless technology is proven and simple: Free up airwaves to accommodate the increase in wireless traffic. Get rid of the red tape that slows the deployment of wireless infrastructure.

For FCC Commissioner Starks, a Johnson County (KS) native, jobs factor into Sprint merger

Growing up in Johnson County (KS), Geoffrey Starks could walk from his Leawood home to the Sprint campus in Overland Park. Starks, 39, sworn in earlier in 2019 as the newest commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, offers this piece of personal history to say that the FCC’s upcoming vote on T-Mobile’s $26 billion merger with Sprint is more than just his first big decision.

Chairman Pai, don’t cut off the Lifeline to your home state

A new proposal spearheaded by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai aims to eliminate the ability of certain carriers to provide Lifeline services, disproportionately affecting rural areas. Kansas would be hit hard by the harsh new Lifeline rules. It is estimated that about 70 percent of the state’s 45,131 Lifeline households would lose service, including veterans and seniors.