I am a small business owner in Hays. For business owners like myself, attracting and retaining a quality workforce and a viable customer base are critical components to success.

There are more than 23 million Americans in rural communities that lack sufficient and dependable broadband access. In states with large rural populations like Kansas, closing the broadband gap is a must. Our small rural towns and businesses are suffering economically because they lack reliable access to the internet.

Eliminating the broadband gap has long been viewed impossible due to the incredibly high costs of extending service to remote, rural areas. However, recent studies have proven rural broadband access is both possible and economically feasible. It will require help from the public sector. Most notably, the Federal Communications Commission needs to ensure the use of at least three channels of TV “white space” on an unlicensed basis. Moreover, there is a strong need for federal and state infrastructure investment and improved data collection on rural broadband coverage.

It is possible to close the broadband gap in Kansas; however, we need the help of Sens. Moran and Roberts to make this issue a priority.

Dustin Roths,

Hays