Texas county releases findings and recommendations for improving internet access, speeds
Interactive map provides residents, businesses, farmers with key data points about broadband access in their area
Walker County, Texas (March 17, 2021) – The Walker County Broadband Committee just announced its findings and recommendations for improving broadband (high-speed internet) access and speeds across the county.
“I’m very excited to see the process of bringing broadband internet to the rural areas of Walker County is finally here. It’s a great day for all of us in Walker County,” said Jimmy D. Henry, Precinct 4 Commissioner, Walker County.
The committee, made up of local leaders and stakeholders, worked with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) to develop a Technology Action Plan for the entire area. The project is among more than two dozen across Texas taking place thanks to support provided by the Texas Rural Funders. It included a countywide survey that was launched in January 2020 to gather information on current broadband access from residents, businesses, farmers, and schools.
“We also worked with area internet service providers and other stakeholders to gather additional data points. Then, using our Connected Community Engagement Program, which has helped nearly 650 communities nationwide, we developed a plan that’s tailored for Walker County,” said Jennifer Harris, State Program Director, CN Texas. “That plan provides a summary of the current broadband landscape—including the demand for services—and a series of actionable steps that can improve internet access across the county.”
Some of the key findings and recommendations from the plan, which you can find here, include the following:
- More than nine out of 10 residents (93%) would like to have more internet options available to them.
- 82.5% of households have access to broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream compared to 96.3% statewide.
- Two out of five households said their mobile internet service is their primary internet connection at home.
- CN Texas recommends, among other things (page 9 of summary):
- Completing the broadband buildout analysis
- Validating demand in underserved areas
- Developing public-private partnerships to help deploy broadband services
In addition to the Technology Action Plan, CN Texas is providing an interactive map that lists broadband by type, speeds, and more. You can find it here:
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Jessica Denson, Communications Director
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: The mission of the Texas Rural Funders (TRF) 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 TRF webpage at: https://www.edtx.org/get-involved/texas-rural-funders-collaborative.