Hardin County releases broadband survey results and communitywide plan for increasing access and adoption
Hardin County, Texas (June 1, 2022) – Hardin County, in partnership with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) and the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission (SETRPC), have released the results of a comprehensive broadband survey and Technology Action Plan designed to increase high-speed internet access across the community.
From February to March 2022, residents, business owners, government leaders, first responders, ranchers, educators, and health care officials provided their feedback in an online survey as part of the Connected Community Engagement Program, which empowers local leaders and communities through collaborative, data-driven technology planning. The results of the engagement have highlighted Hardin County’s local connectivity needs and informed a comprehensive community action plan. To date, the Connected program has helped more than 650 communities across the country build Technology Action Plans.
The broadband survey provides a clear picture of the internet landscape across the county. Among other key data points, the survey found the following:
- Like many communities, lack of broadband availability and the cost of the internet service are the primary barriers to adoption.
- More than 9 out of 10 households (95.4%) said they would like to have improved or additional options for home internet service.
- A little more than 80% of households have access to speeds of 100 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload, which is considered necessary to run modern-day applications.
Based on the survey findings, the Technology Action Plan makes the following recommendations:
1: Prioritize local leadership in Hardin County for expansion of broadband access, adoption, and sustainability
2. Track state and federal broadband funding as it becomes available to stay current with opportunities
3. Eliminate barriers to broadband access
4. Increase the digital presence of public libraries in Hardin County
5. Increase broadband adoption and use in Hardin County to increase the county’s digital capacity
6. Compare the cost of internet services for school districts in Hardin County
“There was outstanding participation by the citizens, businesses and schools in Hardin County, and as a result, our report was the first completed in the SETX region, and was presented on May 10, 2022,” said Wayne McDaniel, Hardin County Judge.
“I want to sincerely thank Bob Dickinson with SETRPC for spearheading this very important and worthwhile effort, and I also greatly appreciate Sonja Kelley with the Silsbee Chamber of Commerce, Katie Pace, Hardin County AgriLife Extension Agent, and Tammy Goodman with Hardin County AgriLife Extension Services for their hard work getting the word out to as many people as possible, and for helping those without online access with completion of a paper survey,” he added. “Last but not least, thanks to Pam Waggoner with Connection Nation for her professionalism and perseverance in working with everyone here to ensure that we have a complete and accurate picture of broadband service throughout our county, and for reporting what is needed to increase this essential service to all residents, businesses, schools, and agricultural interests in Hardin County.”
This project was sponsored by the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission, with funding provided by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance.
To view the full results of the Hardin County broadband survey, visit: https://www.connectednation.org/hardin-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 works 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.