Rural Broadband in Texas: Your Help Needed to Improve Statistics and Maps
Austin, TX (February 27, 2020) – Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) has now released new broadband availability statistics alongside the recently updated broadband (high-speed internet) coverage maps. These statistics show how broadband access varies across the state at various speed combinations. To ensure this information is more accurate CN Texas is asking you to provide feedback.
“Having broadband access is more than just a luxury, it is a necessity if you want to succeed in today’s society,” said Jennifer Harris, State Program Director, CN Texas. “We want to be able to provide accurate broadband data to the entire state of Texas. In addition to the new broadband coverage maps, we are working to close the Digital Divide between urban and rural areas. Getting input on which areas on the map are accurate and which areas need to be improved directly from those impacted will lead to better data in the hands of decision makers across Texas.”
While federal broadband datasets exist, they are heavily flawed because they are reported at the census block level. There is evidence of both overstatement and understatement of broadband access when using these datasets to determine the availability of services in a given area. CN Texas is working with providers across the state to identify inaccurate data and is finding new ways to make improvements. The nonprofit needs help from the public to improve on these initial maps.
“We are collecting public feedback on areas where the maps may be inaccurate or need further investigation of broadband service areas,” said Ashley Hitt, Director of GIS Services. “Updated Texas broadband maps will be published at the end of July 2020 that will include updated data received from providers, local leaders, community members, and CN Texas staff.”
You can find the latest county maps and statistics at: https://connectednation.org/texas/mapping-analysis/. You can also find an interactive map here: https://connectednation.org/texas/interactivemap.
To provide feedback on these maps, please use: https://connectednation.org/texas/feedback.
“As our Texas broadband maps are iterative in process (updated every six months), we will continue to learn more about the state of broadband accessibility in Texas and provide communities with the most current and most accurate data possible to identify challenges, set goals, plan, and advocate for themselves,” said Harris.
CN Texas is also leveraging its Connected Community Engagement Program to develop community-specific Technology Action Plans. Half a dozen Texas communities have already begun working with Connected and CN Texas is looking to connect with at least 18 more communities that want to develop their own plans.
By working in partnership with local stakeholders, internet service providers, and community and state leaders, the hope is to identify ways to connect every community in the state. To learn more about services offered to communities, email Jennifer Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CN Texas website at https://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.