Hill Country Counties Take Action to Expand High-Speed Internet Access to All Families, Businesses
Blanco, Burnet, and Llano Counties, TX (February 5, 2020) – Three Texas counties recently launched a regional effort to connect more families, businesses, farmers, and community organizations to broadband (high-speed internet). Leaders in Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties are coming together to develop Technology Action Plans for the area—and are asking for input from those directly impacted.
“Having access to broadband affects everything from our local schools and businesses to the court system,” said Judge Bret Bray, Blanco County. “We need high-speed internet to access court records and share documents with other jurisdictions. I’m excited to join with other local leaders and my fellow county judges to identify solutions for expanding broadband across our region—to all families.”
The three counties are working with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas), a local subsidiary of the national nonprofit Connected Nation (CN), to gather data and feedback from local stakeholders. By leveraging the nonprofit’s Connected Community Engagement Program, which has helped more than 300 communities across the country, Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties will be able to develop a plan of action for connecting more people to high-speed internet.
“From my perspective as Burnet County Judge, I look forward to the opportunity of having a group discussion between Connected Nation and regional leaders to identify ways to make their information gathering survey as successful as possible,” said Judge James Oakley, Burnet County. “Reliable and affordable high-speed broadband throughout the rural areas of our region is far beyond a want, it is a requirement to interact with most every facet of modern day.”
“As the desire and dependence of technology continues to advance in vital areas such as economic development, education, and healthcare across the nation, it is important that Llano County explore and develop viable technology options to stay abreast of these improvements,” said Judge Ron Cunningham, Llano County. “By working with the cities and communities in Llano County, our adjoining counties, and organizations such as Connected Nation, we will be able to develop a comprehensive technology and broadband landscape which will enable us to develop goals and objectives for a more robust broadband infrastructure throughout Llano County.”
Individuals, families, community organizations, business owners, and others are asked to provide their input at the link that corresponds to their county. Those links can be found at https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/blanco-county/, https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/burnet-county/, and https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/llano-county//.
This regional effort is the latest in a statewide plan from CN Texas to connect all communities—especially in rural areas which have been unserved or underserved for years—to broadband. The project was made possible thanks to funding from the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative.
“This tri-county effort comes at an exciting time for our program,” said Jennifer Harris, State Program Director, CN Texas. “Today we are also launching updated broadband coverage maps for every county in Texas. This is the first time these maps have been updated in five years, and we’re asking the public to review them and let us know where things can be improved. The exciting thing is that this information will help power what Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties are doing because they can use it to help develop their county-specific plans as well.”
You can find your county map and review its updated information by heading to https://connectednation.org/texas/mapping-analysis/ and provide feedback at https://connectednation.org/texas/feedback. You can also find an interactive map at https://connectednation.org/texas/interactivemap.
To learn more about CN Texas, email Jennifer Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CN Texas website at www.connectednation.org/texas. To learn more about the Connected Program head to https://connectednation.org/connect-my-community/.
Jessica Denson, Director, Communications
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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.
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.
About the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative: The mission of the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative (TRFC) is to partner with rural Texans to achieve their vision of prosperity and wellbeing. The group’s strategies recognize and are informed by rural expertise and assets. The TRFC leverages local, philanthropic, state and federal resources to collaborate on projects, support local capacity and leadership, share research, convene stakeholders and engage in advocacy. More information can be found on the TRFC webpage at: https://www.edtx.org/get-involved/texas-rural-funders-collaborative.