Karnes County, Texas (November 2, 2022) – Karnes County will release the results of a comprehensive broadband survey and subsequent Technology Action Plan designed to increase high-speed internet access and usage at a special meeting of Commissioners Court at the Karnes County Courthouse at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 10. The public is invited to attend to learn more about the engagement.
The broadband engagement is part of the Connected Community Engagement Program administered through Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) and funded by Superior HealthPlan. The program empowers local leaders and communities through collaborative, data-driven technology planning. To date, the Connected Engagement Program has helped more than 650 communities across the country build comprehensive Technology Action Plans.
“Karnes County is a special place,” said Pam Waggoner, Broadband Solutions Manager for CN Texas. “The county is growing in population, but internet reliability remains of concern for schools. New industries want to settle in the county, and health care providers want to offer telehealth. Survey data reports residents and businesses are dissatisfied with current internet speeds and reliability, although current maps show Karnes County to be 100% connected at speeds of 25/3 Mbps. Better maps will help pinpoint where there is service and where there is not.”
The FCC defines broadband (high-speed internet) as speeds higher than 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload (25/3). Speeds necessary to run most modern applications, and use more than a few devices at a time, are 100 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload (100/10).
Based on the survey findings, the Karnes County Technology Action Plan includes the following recommendations:
Goal 1: Establish central leadership by forming a broadband technology team. The team should set goals to mirror that of the Texas Broadband Office and keep up with the state and federal policies. Broadband information is coming in daily, so this team needs to dedicate itself to staying informed and reporting the information back to county leadership.
Goal 2: Validate the demand for broadband. Internet services may be overstated due to current mapping information. Performing a field validation and/or an asset inventory can confirm unserved and underserved areas, and potentially help the county qualify for future funding opportunities.
Goal 3: Create and promote telehealth locations for residents and students. Providing telehealth options can help decrease absenteeism in schools and keep parents from having to take time off work.
“Working with Connected Nation has been a learning experience,” said Karnes County Commissioner Shelby Dupnik. “For a county with little broadband in some areas and no broadband to other areas, Connected Nation has really brought this to the forefront. The countywide survey and provider contacts that Connected Nation assisted with are valuable to Karnes County, and I look forward to the next step in achieving our goal.”
To view the full results of the Karnes County broadband survey, visit:
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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Its 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.
About Superior HealthPlan: Superior HealthPlan provides Texas health care programs that empower families and their communities. Superior HealthPlan is committed to improving the health of the community one individual at a time through affordable and reliable health care plans. It has an approach to health care in Texas that can meet the needs of each person it serves. To learn more, visit: superiorhealthplan.com.
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