For Immediate Release
February 5, 2018
Connected Nation Contact: Tom Stephenson
Role: Community Technology Advisor
Phone number: 248-376-4046
Local Contact: Alicia Sanchez, Executive Director
McCamey Economic Development Corporation
Phone number: 432-652-8008
Cybersecurity, Local Business Website Development Identified as Priority Projects by Upton County Broadband Committee
Upton County, TX (February 5, 2018) – The Upton County Broadband Committee understands where changes can be made to improve adoption, access, and use of broadband (high-speed internet) throughout the county. That’s because the committee just wrapped a six-month survey and research project that incorporated input from all sectors—local businesses, farmers and ranchers, libraries, schools, and healthcare facilities, as well as families and other area residents.
“We partnered with Connected Nation to leverage its experience in assessing a community’s broadband and technology needs to develop a solution-oriented plan for our community,” said Alicia Sanchez, Executive Director of McCamey Economic Development Corporation. “The committee members are local leaders and residents who have a stake in Upton County’s success. We asked for input from our community and from there were able to develop a Technology Action Plan that we feel can provides solutions to our county’s immediate and long-term needs.”
Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program (ConnectedSM) has assisted more than 300 communities across the country in conducting a structured and comprehensive analysis of their broadband landscape to develop community-specific Technology Action Plans.
“We have learned a lot about Upton County since July 18 when we launched this project,” said Tom Stephenson, a Community Technology Advisor for Connected Nation who worked directly with the local broadband team. “One important disconnect that we found was that 59% of residents interact with businesses online. However, many local businesses—40%—do not have a website or communicate with customers online. We also found some concerns that community members are not sure how to navigate the internet safely. That includes protecting themselves from fraud and identity theft.”
Among other findings revealed in the final Technology Action Plan, 100% of agriculture operations are using social media weekly for their businesses; 26% of residents regularly telework; and 12% of adults use the library to access the internet.
A series of recommendations was made based on the research and can be found on pages 69-78 of the Technology Action Plan. From those recommendations, the local broadband team identified two that they see as priority actions for Upton County:
Implement Cybersecurity Training
Host Website and Social Media Classes for Local Businesses
To read the Technology Action Plan in its entirety or to share it with others, head to this link: Upton County Texas Community Technology Action Plan.
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Connected Nation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that develops and implements strategies to close digital equity gaps and improve digital skills in communities across the United States. Our Connected Community Engagement Program is a locally driven effort to live out Connected Nation’s mission to bring access to all families so no one is left on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.
Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand the access, adoption, and use of broadband (high-speed internet) to all people. We believe that everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. For more information, please visit: www.connectednation.org or follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
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