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Coryell County Hosts Connected Kickoff Meeting

Earlier this month, Coryell County hosted its first Connected Community Engagement Program kickoff meeting in Gatesville led by Connected Texas Community Technology Advisor Libbey Scheible.

County Judge John Firth welcomed guests and shared his support of the county’s involvement in the Connected program, stressing the importance of technology to the county’s economic development.

“As the economy increasingly shifts from brick and mortar based businesses to Internet based businesses, it is imperative that affordable and reliable Internet access is available to every citizen in Coryell County and around the country,” said Judge Firth.

State Representative J.D. Sheffield’s District Director, Gary Kafer was also in attendance and expressed an interest in doing a technology plan for all of the eight counties within the district.

Action items identified during the kickoff meeting include:

·      5 community representatives volunteered to assist with the assessment activities.

·      Affordable high-speed network access outside of the towns is a major concern as the local incumbent provider refuses to cross territorial boundary lines, claiming that regulatory rules restrict it from doing so.

·      There are 5 prisons, and a large portion of the county serves Ft. Hood, which means fewer consumers are available to buy Internet service.

·      Copperas Cove, which is a city with high-speed Internet access, is located in the southeast portion of the county.

“The reality that Coryell County has one of the highest unemployment rates within Central Texas makes the initiative to encourage options for making the Internet available and affordable to everyone even more important to ensure job opportunities for everyone,” said Judge Firth. “Although this effort is designed to support the citizens of Coryell County, it could be adopted throughout Central Texas.”

Click on the link here to check out the interviews of Coryell County Community Champion Jack Barcroft and Judge Firth discussing the county’s participation in the Connected program!