Orange County launches technology plan, bringing broadband awareness to the community
Orange County, Texas (June 13, 2022) — Orange 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. The Orange County broadband engagement, along with similar engagements in Jefferson and Hardin counties, were sponsored by the SETRPC.
From February to April 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. In total, 1,409 surveys were collected. The results of the engagement have highlighted Orange 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 comprehensive 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:
- 91.65% of households in Orange County have access to home internet service at speeds of 100 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload, which is considered necessary to run modern-day applications.
- Of the survey takers, only 49.1% of households subscribe to fixed internet service. Fixed services include DSL, cable, fiber, and fixed wireless.
- For households that do not subscribe to home internet service, the top reported barriers are a lack of broadband service availability and the cost of service.
- 9 out of 10 households said they would like to have improved or additional options for home internet services.
“Broadband connectivity is one of Orange County’s most critical infrastructure needs and is paramount to the development of the community,” said Jessica Hill, Executive Director, Orange County Economic Development Corp. “Orange County’s broadband action plan provides the framework to establish measurable objectives in an effort to expand access, adoption, and affordability. We look forward to working with Connected Nation Texas, broadband providers, and the community.”
Based on the survey findings, the Technology Action Plan makes the following recommendations:
Goal 1: Establish a broadband committee to oversee broadband information, deployment, and communications with internet service providers. Charging the local committee with specific duties will help ensure long-term success for Orange County.
Goal 2: Promote and share information about programs that help residents overcome the affordability barrier to broadband adoption. The county should work with community leaders and institutions to publicly promote programs and opportunities designed to reduce the cost of broadband service.
Goal 3: Bring awareness about broadband and promote the availability of free public and private Wi-Fi throughout Orange 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 Orange County broadband survey, visit:
# # #
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.