Caney Valley USD #436 is First to Board the Prairie Line Express

Caney Valley School District’s Gigabit Fiber Internet Begins July 1st

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2017
Caney, Kansas: Students in the Caney Valley School District (USD 436) will enter next school year with a technologically advanced, supercharged connection to the Internet, enabling access to the full capacity of educational and research opportunities available online. USD 436 is the first school district to embrace the Prairie Line Express (PLE), a KanREN Initiative orchestrating gigabit fiber Internet connections to every school in the state of Kansas. Service will begin on July 1st this year.

“Our students and faculty in Caney will be experiencing a truly one of a kind connectivity for this area that is often times unattainable for Rural districts” says Blake Vargas, Superintendent USD#436—Caney Valley School District. “KanREN, through the PLE initiative, set about an ambitious technological goal and we are proud to be a part of the future that will benefit schools, communities, and students across Kansas.”

PLE is much more than just an affordable gigabit fiber connection. With it comes a membership in KanREN, the Kansas Research and Education Network. The same organization connecting the major colleges and universities throughout the state via their innovative 100 Gigabit fiber backbone network.

“When PLE was announced, it became clear that being a KanREN member leads to great things. Their proven track record as a partner with a vast entity of groups across the state has put them in a position to successfully implement what was once a dream into a true reality for our districts,” added Vargas. “Our students will be future ready and competitive in their educational endeavors.”

The overwhelmingly positive response to PLE has not been limited to Caney Valley Schools. School districts across the state have been engaging KanREN to learn more since the Initiative was announced last February. More school districts are expected to be announced soon.

“PLE has been welcomed with open arms across the state. We announced the initiative in February and our first district will receive service on July 1st. That is truly remarkable.” says KanREN’s Executive Director, Cort Buffington. “We hope other districts will follow USD#436’s lead and join us as we accelerate toward the future of education in Kansas.”

About USD #436 (Excerpted from their website): Caney Valley School District offers K-12 education to students of Southeast Kansas. Through our programs, students are given the technology, skills and knowledge to be effective members of our school community and a global society.

About PLE: The Prairie Line Express (PLE) is an initiative created by the KanREN; connecting every school in the state of Kansas to a future ready Internet. Each connection includes membership in KanREN, the only member-based consortium providing Internet and network technologies to research, education, and public service institutions in Kansas.


For more information or to schedule an interview please contact KanREN’s Cort Buffington, Executive Director at (785) 856-9813 or