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‘A Hole in The Ground' and Other Quirky Curiosities Mean Money and Pride for Small Kansas Towns

Caretaker Linda Clover has helped countless travelers add their own piece of twine to the World's Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City over the past two decades. (Photo by David Condos, Kansas News Service)

For small towns with dwindling populations and shrinking tax bases, luring travelers to stop and spend a few dollars is a matter of community survival. Some turn to quirky roadside tourist attractions. And the community pride these offbeat sites generate can be just as valuable as the money they bring in.

How Small Kansas Companies Bring Fast Internet to Rural Places That Telecom Giants Ignore

In rural Ford County, a contractor buries fiber-optic cable next to a field for Ideatek, a local broadband company based in the town of Buhler. Ideatek has used fiber lines like this one to bring high-speed internet to several towns with populations of just a few hundred people in southwest Kansas. (Photo courtesy of Ideatek)

Installing fiber-optic internet in sparsely populated places like western Kansas is extremely expensive, even with government subsidies. But some smaller, local broadband providers are finding ways to make it work where the big national companies have not.


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