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More than 10,000 Wichita residents could enjoy faster Internet by the end of next year thanks to a new fiber-optic broadband expansion project.

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

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

The project is part of a $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 provide higher-speed Internet to areas that don’t have it, according to a news release.

Fiber is a broadband connection that can reach speeds about 20 times faster than standard Internet, Jamieson said. For families and those with multiple people in the household, this can be a game changer.

“For a family trying to work on multiple computers, kids trying to stream, parents trying to join a meeting, it gives a lot of bandwidth to allow for things like that,” he said.

How to know if you are included in the fiber extension?

To check if you’re covered in the expansion area, visit AT&T’s website, enter your address, and it will tell you if you’ll be covered.

The map below shows which areas of Wichita are included in the plan, courtesy of AT&T.

FiberBroadband.jpeg
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. by AT&T

Jamieson said once they start the project, they will call customers and let them know about the new fiber connection.

Although fiber is more expensive than standard internet, Jamieson said the price is “very competitive”. However, there are resources available through the Affordable Care Act and Access AT&T that low-income people can use for their bills.

  • Sign up for the Affordable Connections program, which provides up to $30 per month for Internet services. Those on tribal lands can receive up to $75 a month.
  • Access AT&T offers a $30 per month plan that includes unlimited data, up to 100 Mbps and more.
  • With the Affordable Connection plan for $30 a month, you can cover the Access AT&T plan and get Internet for free.

Lindsay Smith is a feature reporter for the Wichita Eagle. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Wichita State University’s student newspaper, the Sunflower, for two years. In December 2022, he graduated from ASU with a degree in journalism.

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