The state has an average rating in terms of homes with internet service, although relatively few are still on dial-up from their ISP. The average download speed of 4.9 mbps in 2009 also placed it in the middle of the pack at 28th place, although speed was significantly up from 3.6 mbps the previous year.
In July 2009, the Kansas Department of Commerce launched Connect Kansas, an initiative to increase high speed broadband internet services in rural parts of the state. The initiative is managed by non-profit organization Connected Nation with the aim of mapping broadband service availability and then providing federal funding to any internet provider to expand the network. Input is requested from internet providers, businesses and citizens that can contribute data.
Initial funding came from the Information Network of Kansas and the Kansas Farm Bureau. Subsequently, a $2 million grant was received from the NTIA in December 2009 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant comprised almost $1.5 million for mapping and a further $0.5 million for planning, with matching funds of $552,705 from the state of Kansas and Connected Nation.
Around the same time, Kansas put forward 22 projects for $283 of grant funding out of an initial 85 applicants. These ranged from Pixius Communications requesting $55 million to construct a wireless internet access middle mile network down to the Miami County Medical Center wanting $141,000 to upgrade DSL connectivity to rural clinics.
One of the best connected areas in Kansas is Wichita, which is understandable due to its size and the presence of many aerospace companies giving it the title of "Air Capital of the World". It has a strong telecommunications and fiber optic cable network with widespread wifi hotspots.
Equidistant from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Kansas is the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states. It has a mainly continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The state suffers numerous thunderstorms, including supercell storms that spawn tornadoes, with around 50 tornadoes annually and more force five rated ones than any other state.
Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, usually being top for wheat, sorghum and sunflower production. Several aircraft corporations have manufacturing facilities in the state. Wichita is the largest city while Topeka, the state capital is fourth. In between are Overland Park and Kansas City.
Cities in Kansas likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas City, Topeka, Olathe and Lawrence. Locations in KS with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.