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The Kansas Office of Broadband Development makes the first stop on the Broadband Roadshow in Emporia on Wednesday

Photo by Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

The Kansas Broadband Roadshow has officially kicked off.

The roadshow made its first stop in Emporia at the Lyon County Fairgrounds Anderson Building on Wednesday evening. Just about 50 residents registered for the informational meeting organized by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development.

According to Jade Piros De Carvalho, director of broadband development for the Kansas Department of Commerce, their goal is to bridge the digital divide for all Kansans. She adds that there’s a perception within the state that the digital divide is simply between rural and urban communities, however, that’s not always the case.


In addition to providing more digital equity to the state, Piros De Carvalho says their office is also focused on ensuring that all Kansans are able to use the technology and resources that come with broadband connectivity.


Piros De Carvalho tells KVOE News that the need for broadband access has become more evident in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when connectivity was of the utmost importance.

Piros De Carvalho says the pandemic has been “transformative” in helping move the discussion around broadband access forward.


During Wednesday’s event, community members were able to offer feedback on their concerns or difficulties when it comes to broadband access and connectivity. Piros De Carvalho says the information, as well as inputs from all other stops on the tour, will be compiled into a five-year strategic plan to support digital equity across the state which will then be submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The next stop on the roadshow will be next Wednesday in Pratt. If you would like more information about the roadshow or the Office of Broadband Development, visit kansascommerce.gov/officeofbroadbanddevelopment.

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