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The Cost of Being Disconnected

Austin, TX (October 3, 2019) – Last week, Connected Nation Staff members headed to Austin, Texas, for the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival. This festival is one of the nation’s largest political gatherings, with over 8,300 people in attendance to discuss politics and policies that affect our communities, schools, work, and everyday lives.

Connected Nation Texas State Program Director Jennifer Harris took part in several sessions, including a meet-and-greet with local broadband stakeholders.

“It was great to see such interest in rural broadband from leaders and concerned citizens across the state, both rural and urban, who attended the panel during the multi-day public policy festival in Austin,” said Harris. “I look forward to engaging with these Texans and others as we work to lessen the Digital Divide in our state.”

Eric Frederick, VP of Community Affairs for Connected Nation, presented during the “Disconnected” session on rural broadband. He shared the panel with Jordana Barton of the Dallas Fed, Teresa Burnett with the Monahans Chamber, and State Rep. Four Price from Amarillo.

This panel discussed the issue of rural broadband and the Digital Divide throughout the U.S. Frederick pointed out that the Digital Divide in Texas is costing Texans more than $5 billion dollars annually. By bridging the gap, more people will be able to stay connected, which will boost the economy and help grow small business.

Teresa Burnett of the Monahans chamber has seen how the lack of broadband negatively affects Texans directly. She believes that open forums like this will continue the conversation of rural broadband expansion.

“I would like to thank everyone involved with the Texas Tribune Festival that gave me the honor of speaking about rural broadband in the state of Texas,” Burnett said. She added that it’s been an honor to work with Connected Nation, along with the Still Water Foundation, to help solve the problems of the lack of broadband internet. “I am confident our partnerships will bring solutions to overcome this problem in rural communities throughout the state of Texas!”

To learn more about Connected Nation Texas, visit the site here