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Texas County Communities Hero Newv2

DeWitt County Texas


The DeWitt County Broadband Team has completed its community technology assessment. The results of the assessment can be found by clicking the symbol for each of the sections below. The Solutions sector includes recommended actions the community can implement to improve the broadband and technology ecosystem at a local level. It should be noted that much of the assessment was conducted during the global COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide event likely impacted many of the metrics included in this assessment.


Connected Infrastructure in DeWitt County, Texas

Broadband access refers to the infrastructure that enables a high-speed internet connection. There are two primary types of broadband connections: fixed and mobile.

Fixed broadband is delivered to a user via several technology platforms including cable, digital subscriber line (DSL) over phone line, fiber optics, and fixed wireless. Fixed broadband is designed for stationary use at a fixed location such as a home, business, or institution. From a single location, however, fixed broadband service is often broadcast as a Wi-Fi network to connect nearby devices.

The following interactive map shows where broadband is available in the area.

Recommended Actions


Appoint a dedicated broadband director for DeWitt and Lavaca Counties to handle the business of broadband, specifically to increase internet speeds. Both Lavaca and DeWitt Counties report between 93-97% internet coverage at 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed, which are the minimum speeds considered to be broadband by the FCC. However, most will agree this speed is no longer suitable for today’s needs. A dedicated broadband director can work with the named incoming RDOF recipient, Resound Networks, and current internet providers to increase speeds. The Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RDOF) was awarded to internet providers in areas where speeds did not meet the FCC’s definition of broadband. Resound Network was awarded $925,878 for use in DeWitt County and $428,061 for use in Lavaca County.  Both county maps show a significant drop off at 100/10 Mbps— DeWitt County has 50.5% of the community covered, and coverage is centered around Cuero. Lavaca County has 47.52% coverage with the majority in Yoakum, Hallettsville, and Shiner.


Action 1 - Establish a broadband director to handle the business of broadband in DeWitt and Lavaca Counties. Currently, there is no office or individual to call to discuss broadband issues. The director should have broadband knowledge and/or a passion to bring high-speed internet to DeWitt and Lavaca Counties. The counties may decide to share this position since their communities are very similar in needs.

Duties of the broadband director include:

  • Deploying RFQs for services needed regarding broadband.
  • Reporting to Judge Fowler, Judge Myers, and the County Commissioners updates of broadband activity in their counties. This includes activity generated from RDOF, America Rescue Plan funds, and other grants, loans, and subsidies sought by the counties.
  • Establishing a relationship with current providers and negotiate for the services the counties need.
  • Establishing a relationship with RDOF winner, Resound Networks.
  • Establishing a relationship with DeWitt and Lavaca Counties’ U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud and/or his staff. Federal legislators can be important advocates when applying for federal grants, loans, and subsidies. Jamie Baker, Director of Public Policy for Congressman Cloud, has a wealth of resources and knowledge surrounding broadband. His office line is (361) 884-2222.

Action 2 - Deploy a RFQ to understand the counties’ assets and how they can be utilized by private broadband companies currently working in the counties. This is the beginning of establishing public/private partnerships, and the information obtained also can help the broadband director understand barriers faced by providers.

Assets include:

  • Anchor tenants
  • Antennas
  • Building rooftops
  • Light poles
  • Towers the cities or counties may own

Barriers include:

  • Road easements
  • Pole owner leases
  • County policies and regulations

Action 3 - Deploy a RFQ for field validation to determine if maps are overstated or understated for internet coverage.

Having more precise maps may help the counties with future grants and subsidies if it can be proven coverage is overstated in some areas. It also satisfies Lavaca County’s goal of having more precise maps.

Action 4 - Recognizing that speed is a barrier to both DeWitt and Lavaca Counties’ libraries, K-12, agriculture, businesses, and other sectors, the broadband director should work with local providers to increase the speed to better serve the community. Poor customer service was mentioned throughout sectors surveyed, particularly in Lavaca County. If the current providers are unwilling to improve their relationships with the counties, new providers should be given an opportunity to offer service in these areas.

Both DeWitt and Lavaca Counties report that a high percentage of their residents have 25/3 Mbps. RDOF money will be spent only in areas of lower speeds. Even if the maps are overstated, there will be no increases in speed for much of the population unless providers engage in the process.

DeWitt County is served by eight providers:

  • Charter Communications, GTEK, GVTC, GVEC, Rise Broadband, AT&T, TISD, and VTXC. Both cable and fiber are being offered with 940/35 Mbps and 1000/1000 Mbps speeds by Charter and GVEC, respectively.

Lavaca County is served by 13 providers:

  • Charter Communications, Colorado Valley Telephone Cooperative, Rise Broadband, Colorado Valley Communications, GTEK, GVEC, Jackson Electric Coop., theSPECnet, AT&T, NewWave, Particle Communications, TISD, and VTXC. Both cable and fiber are being offered with 940/35 Mbps and 1000/1000 Mbps speeds by Charter and GVEC, respectively.

Examples of some questions to ask providers include:

  • Is there an installation fee for residential service and, if so, what is that fee?
  • What are the maximum download and upload speeds offered on your network for residential service?
  • Are the speeds guaranteed or “best effort?”

Connected Nation Texas can provide a series of questions at your request.

Responsible Parties

The broadband director position should be established immediately by Judges Myers and Fowler, and the Commissioners Court. The counties may decide to hire or appoint their own broadband director. This should be their decision.

Once a broadband director is hired, he/she should deploy the RFQs and monitor all responses.


Connected Nation supports communities in broadband planning, deployment, and digital inclusion:

Governors Start 2021 by Expanding Access to Broadband:

Becoming Broadband Ready:

Message from Congressman Filemon Vela:


For low-income residents without the ability to purchase a home computer (or other device), a public computing center may be their only opportunity to access the internet. Further, public access to technology is necessary for community members who have little or no communication technology available in their homes, need assistance to effectively use technology, or need to supplement connectivity at home or in schools. A community should have sufficient, free access to computers, internet service, wireless networks, and other communication technologies to support the needs of its residents. In addition, public computing centers should be located in safe facilities, with adequate levels of privacy, security, and accessibility for people with disabilities. Information regarding the availability and location of public computing centers should be widely disseminated.


Action 1 - Identify gaps and develop a plan to expand free and/or low-cost Wi-Fi in Lavaca and DeWitt Counties. Gaps may appear geographically or among various demographic groups. Organizations with institutional knowledge of the community are great partners for identifying groups that are impacted by a lack of public computer access.

These groups include:

  • Community and senior centers: In DeWitt County, this could include Alzcare of DeWitt County-Memory Care and Assisted Living; and in Lavaca County, S.P.J.S.T Nursing Community, Broadway Senior Activity Center, Hallettsville Rehabilitation ad Nursing Center, Shady Oak Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Shiner Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Organizations include Boys & Girls Club of DeWitt County, Cuero Lions Club, Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, etc.
  • Schools: Public schools found in responsible parties below.
  • Libraries: Public libraries found in action 2 below.

Action 2 - Expand Wi-Fi access to under-resourced populations at a discounted rate or free of charge. Survey results from both counties suggest there is not enough free public Wi-Fi.

Expanding access to public Wi-Fi can be done at:

  • Libraries: Cuero Municipal Library, Yorktown Public Library, Friench Simpson Memorial Library, Hallettsville Library, Shiner Public Library, and The Carl & Mary Welhausen Library. Some public Wi-Fi is available in these libraries; however, expansion is needed. For example, expand the times and days Wi-Fi is available.
  • Public schools are the heart of a community. The survey responses indicate not all schools offer public Wi-Fi.
  • Coffee shops
  • Public government buildings, including the economic development centers of several of the cities: Yorktown Economic Development Corp., GVEC Economic Development, Cuero Economic Development.
  • Chambers of Commerce: Lavaca County Chamber of Commerce, Cuero Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Hallettsville Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, Moulton Chamber of Commerce, Shiner Chamber of Commerce

Responsible Parties

The broadband director, Judges Myers and Fowler, along with the Commissioners Court, should organize the initiatives. Other parties include local providers and the RDOF recipient. School superintendents from both counties should review their policies allowing their community to use school resources: DeWitt County ISDs include Cuero ISD, Meyersville ISD, Nordheim ISD, Westhoff ISD, and Yorktown ISD.  Lavaca County ISDs include Ezzell ISD, Hallettsville ISD, Moulton ISD, Shiner ISD, Sweet Home ISD, and Vysehrad ISD.


Connected Nation supports communities in broadband planning, deployment, and digital inclusion:;;

Examples of one Texas town meeting residents’ broadband needs:

Governors Start 2021 by Expanding Access to Broadband:

Removing barriers to broadband expansion:

Examining state broadband programs:

Becoming Broadband Ready:

An introduction to effective public-private partnerships for broadband investments:


Libraries provide vital access to information, resources, and digital tools. The survey responses suggest local public libraries could improve their visibility in DeWitt and Lavaca Counties and build awareness of digital resources that can be used by residents and businesses.


Action 1 - Assess the current state of digital resources, social media, and community awareness of these digital resources among all libraries in DeWitt and Lavaca Counties.

Reviewing the survey responses under the Libraries and Community Organizations sectors will provide insight on how the community is using the local libraries, as well as how the libraries are communicating with residents. For example, the survey responses show little interaction digitally between the libraries and the community. This is a missed opportunity to promote library services to the patrons.

Action 2 - Improve the online presence of libraries.

This could include building community awareness by social media visibility. Build the libraries’ unique social media pages. Update page content daily to develop a following in the community. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Updates include library events, special books or other collections, summer programs, digital learning programs, other digital programs, and more. Of note:The Carl and Mary Welhausen Library in Yoakum has a presence on social media, and a webpage and has been awarded hotspots through the Tocker Foundation. Friench Simpson Memorial Library and Shiner Public Library also have websites and Facebook presences. See the recommendations for additional services in Action 3 below to increase library usage by the community.

Action 3 - Offer digital learning skills trainings at libraries with public computers and Wi-Fi.

Offering digital learning skills trainings online, both in English and Spanish, can attract more library patrons. This activity also promotes broadband adoption in the community, allowing for further inclusion in the digital economy, especially for under-resourced populations and seniors. It is important to note DeWitt County has a 34.7% Hispanic/Latino population, with 19.4% of the population speaking a language other than English at home. Lavaca County has a 19.6% Hispanic/Latino population, with 16.3% of the population speaking a language other than English at home. Therefore, all materials pertaining to broadband workshops, affordability, and accessibility should be available in English and Spanish. Online resources include:

Responsible Parties

  • Libraries and library co-ops (if applicable): Cuero Municipal Library, Carl and Mary Welhausen Library, Yorktown Public Library, Shiner Public Library, and Friench Simpson Memorial Library
  • Local and county governments: Both, DeWitt and Lavaca Counties need to promote and support local libraries by budgeting for needed resources to expand services.



DeWitt County survey responses show 62% of households without an internet connection either do not have access to internet service at their address, or the internet service is too expensive. In Lavaca County. This number represents 66% of households. Community leadership must be prepared for the school year, especially if the pandemic forces kids back into remote learning. Identifying and expanding wireless hotspots will be key for DeWitt and Lavaca Counties.


Action 1 - Develop an inventory of current wireless hotspots, and publish this list in the local papers and online. Notifications can be listed in The Victoria Advocate Newspaper under public notices and news online at, and on all the schools’ websites. 

Action 2 - Identify key locations for new hotspots.

These areas can include, but are not limited to:

  • Restaurants: Working with popular locations can expand access to hotspots and increase business for these establishments.
  • RV parks and campgrounds: Both counties are home to several RV parks, and students live in those parks. These are great areas to expand hotspots.
  • Libraries: Discussed above. Libraries will need to expand hours of services.
  • Hotels
  • Medical centers: Cuero Community Hospital and Lavaca Medical Center
  • Popular coffee shops
  • Popular supermarkets: HEB and Brookshire Brothers
  • Government offices and courthouses

Action 3 - The counties should promote low-cost programs that are currently available, such as the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which provides discounts directly to individuals and families by applying through a local participating provider. The communities should also keep abreast of new federal programs and potential state programs for broadband access, adoption, and usage. The broadband director should have a current list available. Also, Connected Nation updates its program listing regularly at

Action 4 - Connect with service providers in your area to discuss special programs that can potentially help schools and students connect to the internet. Several internet providers have added programs since the beginning of the pandemic. EducationSuperHighway has an initiative to help connect students to broadband for remote learning. It partners with internet service providers to launch programs that enable states and school districts to identify students without broadband and purchase service for low-income families. By providing a ZIP code, the school district can check if programs are available.

In DeWitt County, all ZIP codes have programs offered by one of more of the following providers:

  • Charter (Spectrum Stay Connected K-12)
  • GVTC
  • AT&T
  • Frontier Communications

In Lavaca County, all ZIP codes have programs offered by one or more of the following providers:

  • Frontier Communications
  • AT&T
  • Spectrum
  • Comcast

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program focuses on providing discounts directly to individuals and families by applying through a local participating provider. Details can be found at

Lifeline is another federal program that can help lower the monthly cost of phone or internet services for eligible customers. More information can be found at This program is administered through the Universal Service Administrative Company.

Responsible Parties

The broadband director and all school superintendents from DeWitt and Lavaca Counties. Local providers should share information with schools.


Dropdown under dashboard Community Resources:

Information on resources available to schools:

Internet Society: Guide to Federal Broadband Funding Opportunities in the U.S.

BroadbandUSA: Federal Grant Resources NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program

American Rescue Plan: County Allocation

American Rescue Plan: City Allocation