Caldwell County working to connect community with better internet coverage
Caldwell County, Texas (November 19, 2021) – A broadband Technology Action Plan is ready to be considered by Caldwell County Commissioners following a presentation from Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) on October 11th and November 8th to the Commissioners’ Court. Caldwell County is located just 30 minutes south of Austin, yet the community lacks access to adequate broadband as determined by a limited field validation audit performed by CN Texas. In addition, CN Texas conducted a survey between March 2021 and July 2021 to determine the community’s access, adoption, and use of the internet. In total, the study collected responses from 432 residential households.
Key highlights from the survey include:
- Caldwell County reports 100% broadband coverage at 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
- After an on-the-ground limited field validation conducted by Connected Nation Texas, it was determined some internet access was overstated in the examined areas.
- Caldwell County’s internet adoption rate is low at 55.1%. For households that said they do not subscribe to home internet service, the top barrier is a lack of available service followed by the cost of internet service.
- Caldwell County households pay more on average for access to the internet - $86.73. Other connected communities pay on average $71.59.
This project was made possible through funding provided by St David’s Foundation, a nonprofit located in Austin, Texas whose mission is to create healthier lives for all Central Texans by addressing the region’s top health challenges.
The Technology Action Plan provided to Caldwell County includes the following recommendations:
- Caldwell County should consider developing public-private partnerships (P3) to address broadband service gaps.
- To increase adoption of broadband, Caldwell County can improve the online presence of the public libraries in the communities and build awareness of broadband resources available for free.
- Caldwell County can help close the Digital Divide by offering free public Wi-Fi. The county can increase public computers and Wi-Fi access by offering technology in places the residents feel comfortable and are supported.
"It has been a pleasure working with Judge Haden and others to gather and analyze information to improve access, adoption, and use of broadband by its residents and businesses," said Pam Waggoner, Broadband Solutions Manager for CN Texas. "Through these efforts, I have no doubt Caldwell County will be a model community for rural broadband deployment. I look forward to Connected Nation Texas and Caldwell County working together towards this goal."
To view the full results of the Caldwell County broadband survey, check out:
To date, the Connected Community Engagement Program has helped more than 650 communities with similar broadband challenges. CN Texas staff analyzed data and held meetings with community officials to determine specific community needs.
To learn more about the Connected Community Engagement Program, visit: https://connectednation.org/connect-my-community/
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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Our 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 St. David’s Foundation: St. David’s mission is to create healthier lives for all Central Texans by addressing the region’s top health challenges. In support of their goal, the Foundation invests to solve the most pressing health challenges across our entire community, especially for those traditionally left out – the underserved and uninsured. Learn more at https://stdavidsfoundation.org/.