Broadband

Broadband Expansion 

Gov. Greg Abbot has named broadband expansion an emergency item for the 87th Texas Legislature. A top priority for counties, broadband expansion has long been an important issue, but it is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

County government officials and staff are often the first tasked with navigating and meeting resident need associated with the state’s lack of broadband connectivity.

The lack of connectivity in rural Texas creates barriers for accessing telepsychiatry and telemedicine, as well as online learning for rural students. These same challenges have appeared in economically disadvantaged urban communities.

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Sen. Cornyn touts expanding rural broadband during East Texas roundtable

Longview News-Journal, April 20, 2022

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said during a stop in East Texas that expanding broadband is a serious issue in rural East Texas and that local communities should be able to use federal coronavirus dollars to make it happen.

Analysis: Texans without high-speed internet are getting closer, slowly

The Texas Tribune, April 15, 2022

Like other states, Texas found out during the pandemic how critical high-speed broadband is for school, work and medicine. And the state is working to expand it — but it’s going to be at least a year before Texans start to see results.

'Digital divide' keeps millions of Texans offline. Could 5G boost access? (lmtonline.com)

Laredo Morning Times, February 9, 2022

As schools and workplaces have switched to remote operations due to COVID-19, the gaps in access to high-speed internet connectivity, dubbed the digital divide, have been brought front and center for many households, with coverage gaps leaving some remote students and workers offline.

Internet company makes case to county

Odessa American, January 11, 2022

When the ConnEctor Task Force study asked local families whether they had internet, one in four said they couldn’t afford it or didn’t have access to it. More than 20% of those who had it said it was of low quality.

Texas to get at least $100M for broadband expansion

Spectrum News 1, November 10, 2021

Rural Texas has long struggled to get broadband internet into households, schools businesses, and even many of its more remote hospitals.

How the Digital Divide Is Failing Texas Students—And Why That Might Be About to Change

Texas Monthly, April 8, 2021

For months, Gus Peters, a high school senior in the East Texas town of Jasper, went where the Wi-Fi was. Some days, he parked himself at the local coffee shop, Jasper Java, ordering a green tea frappé to appease whoever was working the register...

Broadband a lifeline for Texas counties

Texas Association of Counties, March 24, 2021

COVID-19 exacerbated the need for reliable high-speed internet access for all Texans. The pandemic led classrooms across the state to shift to virtual instruction. Office closures and capacity reductions moved meetings and workdays to home offices.