Jasper County Takes Action to Expand High-Speed Internet Access to All Families, Schools, Businesses

Jasper County, TX (June 30, 2020) – The Jasper County Broadband Committee, in partnership with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas), today launched a new effort to connect more families, businesses, farmers, schools, libraries, and other community organizations to broadband (high-speed internet). 

“We need everyone across Jasper County to take part in community surveys so we can identify areas of need and potential opportunities for expanding high-speed internet access,” said Eddie Hopkins, Executive Director, Jasper Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO). “Because of the pandemic that forced our schools to close and businesses to shutter and send employees home to work, we have all experienced how critical it truly is to have reliable and affordable access to high-speed internet. No one wants a child, a senior citizen, a veteran, or a small-business owner who lives in Jasper County to be left behind simply because they do not have access to this important and vital technology.” 

It takes just 10 minutes to fill out the survey, which can be found here: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/jasper-county/. Jasper County is the seventh community selected to take part in this program; CN Texas is identifying 23 in total. The more surveys filled out by Jasper County residents and businesses the more accurate the data will be for developing a county-specific Technology Action Plan. 

“CN Texas is working across our state to help communities similar to ours create a plan for connecting all families, businesses, and community organizations,” said Paul Smith, Assistant Executive Director, JEDCO. “If every one of us takes a few minutes and fills out these surveys, we’ll have the strong data we need to develop a plan that can tackle the specific needs of our county. Also, we must take action to never again leave anyone behind if we’re forced to again work and learn from our homes. Jasper County should and can be better connected.” 

CN Texas is a state program of the national nonprofit Connected Nation (CN). The nonprofit’s Connected Community Engagement Program has helped more than 300 communities across the country develop Technology Action Plans by collecting data from local stakeholders and working with providers to identify opportunities and challenges for expanding access to high-speed internet. 

Thanks to funding from the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative, Jasper County is part of a statewide effort to connect all communities—especially in rural areas that have been unserved or underserved for years—to broadband. 

“Earlier this year, just a month before the pandemic, we launched updated maps that showed where broadband access was strong and where it was lacking,” said Jennifer Harris, State Program Director, CN Texas. “We have asked the public to review these maps and let us know where we need to make improvements and adjustments so we can provide a better picture of the need and the opportunity for internet expansion across Texas—including in Jasper County.” 

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

Head here for a printable fact sheet on the Jasper County Broadband Committee’s work: https://connectednation.org/texas/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2020/06/Jasper-County-Broadband-Fact-Sheet-draftPDF.pdf

To learn more about CN Texas, email Jennifer Harris atjharris@connectednation.orgor visit the CN Texas website at https://www.connectednation.org/texas. To learn more about the Connected Program head to https://connectednation.org/connect-my-community/.  

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Contact: Jessica Denson, Director, Communications 

Email: jdenson@connectednation.org                         

Phone: 502-341-2024
Website: connectednation.org/texas  

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.organd follow Connected Nation on Facebookand 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.

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