SPRING HILL, Kan. — This fall Comcast will begin expanding its fiber internet network to Spring Hill, Kansas. The new service could provide internet speeds 100 times faster than what most residents currently access.
In 2019, a national study ranked Spring Hill as having the third slowest internet speeds among rural America. At the time the average speed was less than five megabits per second. The Federal Communications Commission considers broadband internet to be 25 mbps. The current national average is about 99 mbps.
Comcast plans to offer residential plans with speeds of 1,000 mbps, the same as one gigabit per second. It says businesses will be able to achieve even higher speeds.
The internet giant will spend $9 million on the expansion and estimates it will take two years to fully complete. People in Spring Hill will be able to sign up for Comcast’s Xfinity service to connect to the internet.
“We’re one of the fastest growing cities in Kansas and that’s with bad internet,” Mayor Joe Berkey said.
He predicts continued growth as a result of this announcement.
“You bring in those new businesses and generate that sales tax and you can keep taxes low, but still fund the projects and street repairs and things that need done,” Berkey said.
Internet access and road repairs have been the two topics Berkey’s heard about the most from constituents.
Berkey said the city is not spending any tax dollars to fund Comcast’s expansion, the company is paying for it.
President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act set aside at least $100 million for both Kansas and Missouri to expand broadband internet access. Both states also set aside millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act specifically for internet expansion projects.