The following story was published by The Teague Chronicle on August 27, 2020.
With a number of students across Freestone County choosing to learn remotely in the 2020-21 school year, the need for functioning technology and connectivity becomes more important than ever.
The county’s internet service speeds are at the forefront for those students learning from home, as well as for residents continuing to work from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
One study looking at the county’s internet connectivity was made by Connected Nation Texas, which according to the organizations website, is “an independent, public & private initiative working to ensure that all can experience the benefits of broadband.”
CN Texas has created maps of Texas counties based on broadband service connectivity speeds, seeing which areas lack the requisite connection for school and work tasks.
The first map shown on the website details the amount of county households having internet service with speeds of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload. For comparison, the average download speed in the United States is 18.7 Mbps.
Freestone County was shown to have 77.37 percent of households under this availability, with 1,643 households unserved at this speed. While the majority of the county is covered, several areas lack this connectivity. The map shows more than half of the city of Teague greyed out, or lacking the 10 Mpbs/1 Mpbs connection.
Other areas lacking connection include TX-179 between Teague and Dew, as well as households on US-84 between Teague and Fairfield.
Comparing counties, Limestone County is shown to have 95.25 percent of households covered under the 10 Mpbs/1 Mpbs connection, with 403 households unserved.
The next map showed coverage under the minimum speed of the current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) definition of broadband connection, which is 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. Freestone shows 61.99 percent of households accounted for with this connectivity speed, while 2,759 households remain unserved. The map shows similarly greyed out areas, while showing more lack of connectivity for the eastern portion of the county, east of Fairfield.
The study showed a comparison to other local counties at the 25 Mbps/3 Mbps connection speeds, with the following counties measured:
Click here to read the full article and learn how area counties compared to Freestone County.
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