The Kansas Corporation Commission should heed its staff recommendation and bless Chanute’s plan for broadband Internet service, recognizing that sometimes governments need to step in when private businesses won’t. In the case of Chanute, existing and potential providers have deemed it unprofitable to upgrade the infrastructure for local Internet service, which is slow and balky. Rather than encounter regulatory and legislative opposition, the city should be credited for proposing gigabit service 14 times faster and 60 percent cheaper than service currently available to Chanute residents. Meanwhile, other cities and state leaders should look at Chanute, which already has free Wi-Fi in the parks and fiber broadband for certain facilities, as an economic development model for making rural communities more attractive to residents and businesses alike. – Rhonda Holman
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