Posted on October 5, 2017

On September 20th and 21st, the Kansas Broadband Conference was held in Wichita, KS. The conference was hosted by The State Independent Telephone Association of Kansas (SITA). The mission of the conference is to Grow and Expand Opportunities through Broadband. Conference attendees included representatives from rural telecommunications companies, those in economic development, healthcare, education, city administrators and political offices – notably, 4th District Representative Ron Estes.

Guest Speakers at the conference included Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association. Chairman Pai addressed the conference about bridging the digital divide and the importance of having high speed broadband in rural America. To address these issues, Chairman Pai told the attendees “The FCC is pursuing an aggressive agenda to extend digital opportunity to all Americans, particularly rural areas”. Bloomfield spoke about rural telecommunications policy issues that are affecting rural broadband deployment.

Serving on the conference planning committee were Stacy Simmer, Community Relations Manager for ӲƵAPP, and representatives from Tri County Telephone, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and KanOkla Networks.

Jason Smith, CEO/General Manager of ӲƵAPP and SITA Board Member noted “I really appreciate Chairman Pai taking the time to attend the conference and for listening to the issues that are affecting rural broadband providers like ӲƵAPP”.