Bad connections: More than half of Baylor County residents are teleworking, most need improved home internet service
Countywide Technology Action Plan identifies critical needs and solutions for expanding broadband access
Baylor County, TX (October 25, 2023) – The Baylor County Broadband Committee has published a Technology Action Plan for improving and expanding broadband (high-speed internet) access across the entire county.
The plan was completed over the past several months in collaboration with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas). It includes input from area residents, business owners, community organizations, and others from a public survey on countywide internet needs.
“The feedback we received from survey respondents shows that an overwhelming number of Baylor County residents are working from home in some capacity,” said Joy Self, Agent, AgriLife Extension, Baylor County. “We also learned that 4 out of 5 households (85%) said they need improved or additional options for home internet services – many say they are now experiencing slow speeds and unreliable connections. This Technology Action Plan helps us map out a path for improving those connections that our families and individuals need.”
The project is designed as a regional effort to help local communities develop effective plans for tackling their unique challenges and opportunities for expanding broadband access, adoption, and use. CN Texas is the statewide program of national nonprofit, Connected Nation (CN) , which works to connect all people to broadband.
The plan for Baylor County, which can be found here, not only provides important data about the county’s digital footprint but has a series of recommendations (pages 15-28) for improving and expanding access — each one listed as a goal with actionable steps and timelines. Those are:
Goal 1: Align leadership, resources, and community assets to increase access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet for all.
Goal 2: Work with internet service providers (ISPs) to improve internet access and speeds.
Goal 3: Ensure that county residents have access to the internet, regardless of income level.
Goal 4: Ensure that county residents and businesses have digital literacy skills to improve digital engagement and improve outcomes in business, public safety, workforce readiness, and quality of life.
“We have done more than 650 of these Technology Action Plans for communities across the United States over the last decade,” said Molly Weiner, Director of Local & Regional Planning, CN Texas. “What we have learned is, no two communities or regions have the same needs or opportunities – every place is unique. That’s why it was so important to do the work of collecting this data for Baylor County and developing an action plan that seeks to better connect the entire county.”
The full Baylor County Technology Action Plan can be found at this link: https://connectednation.org/community-engagements/baylor-county-texas.
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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is the statewide subsidiary 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.
Connected Nation collaborates 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 Priddy Foundation: The mission of the Priddy Foundation is dedicated to the support of programs in human services, education, the arts, and health, which offer significant potential for individual development and community improvement throughout Northern Texas and Southern Oklahoma. More information can be found at: https://priddyfdn.org.