News Article | June 23, 2022
Comptroller Releases State Broadband Plan
Comptroller Glenn Hegar released the Texas Broadband Plan on June 15. The plan, crafted by the comptroller’s Broadband Development Office (BDO), is an “important assessment of the current state of broadband in Texas [and] creates a framework for establishing grant programs that reach the areas of greatest immediate need and establish a possible framework for future funding opportunities,” the report’s executive summary states. The report continues, “The BDO will continue to partner with the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) to engage communities on a regional basis while also ensuring thorough geographic representation.”
County officials, as community leaders, are an important part of the effort to expand broadband, and it’s important to ensure their areas are at the table for the hundreds of millions of dollars that will become available through many sources, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Middle Mile Grant Program. Officials should also know the plan is a living document that will serve as a blueprint for closing the digital divide; therefore, their communities should have an opportunity to review the plan. Any corrective information or comments should then be sent to the BDO.
Recognizing that some cities and counties may need additional support, the BDO created a toolkit to help communities:
- Find and determine their eligibility for federal funding.
- Assess their needs.
- Identify who will best be served by broadband projects.
- Perform an inventory assessment.
- Locate existing middle mile.
- Identify leadership and partnership opportunities.
The Broadband Toolkit will be updated as additional needs are identified or greater awareness is required. Find it here.
For more information about this article, please contact Rick Thompson.