Austin, TX (January 21, 2020) – Jennifer Harris, State Program Director of Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas), is among those recently appointed to Governor Greg Abbott’s Broadband Development Council. The council will work to identify barriers to and solutions for expanding broadband (high-speed internet) access to rural communities across the state of Texas.
“It’s clear Governor Abbott understands this technology can transform lives in positive ways. We applaud his forward-thinking approach of bringing together stakeholders from varying backgrounds to find ways to expand access to all Texans,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. “Jennifer’s Texas roots go back several generations, and her passion for helping families and communities across the state is evident. This appointment will make it possible for Jennifer to help even more rural families, businesses, and communities—living out our mission to connect all people to the resources and opportunities broadband can provide.”
According to data released in May by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 31.1 percent of rural Texans lack access to high-speed internet. That’s compared to just 2.6 percent in urban areas.
CN Texas is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation (CN) which has worked with individual Texas communities since 2009—helping, among other things, local stakeholders develop community-specific Technology Action Plans. Thanks to funding provided by the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative, CN Texas has expanded its work statewide.
“I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to serve on the Governor’s Broadband Development Council,” said Harris. “It is critical that we find ways to connect Texans who find themselves in the Digital Divide. By working together, we can create positive change for all Texans—especially those in rural areas who are currently disproportionately affected.”
Harris holds degrees from both The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. Having worked in state government since 2005, her professional experience includes, among other things, legislative, public policy, communications, and government affairs work with the Texas Legislature.
She was among 15 appointees chosen by Governor Abbott to serve on the Broadband Development Council. The current terms will run through August 31, 2024. Click here to see a full list of the council members.
Jessica Denson, Communications Director
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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative: The mission of the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative (TRFC) is to partner with rural Texans to achieve their vision of prosperity and wellbeing. The group’s strategies recognize and are informed by rural expertise and assets. The TRFC leverages local, philanthropic, state and federal resources to collaborate on projects, support local capacity and leadership, share research, convene stakeholders and engage in advocacy. More information can be found on the TRFC webpage at: https://www.edtx.org/get-involved/texas-rural-funders-collaborative.
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