Houston County seeks solutions to broadband access, adoption, and use

Houston County, Texas (September 17, 2021) – Located 2 hours north of Houston, Texas, Houston County is getting ready to implement the Technology Action Plan developed for them by Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas). A broadband survey, which collected responses from 391 residential households, was conducted between January 2021 and May 2021.

The purpose of the survey was to determine the availability of internet infrastructure; how its residents are adopting and using broadband services; and what steps would have the greatest impact toward improving broadband access, adoption, and use across every sector locally. This project was made possible thanks to the Texas Rural Funders and the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. Both organizations focus on helping drive opportunities and success in rural communities throughout Texas.

Highlights from the study include:

  • 83% of residents have access to the internet, though many of those do not subscribe. Speeds are often a major obstacle.
  • The average download speed in Houston County is 18.8Mbps, which is considerably slower than other communities.
  • Houston County residents are paying more for internet service than other communities Connected Nation surveyed. On average, residents are paying $82.74 monthly, while other communities average $71.05 monthly. 
  • Houston County has a higher percentage of teleworkers than other communities, though teleworkers in Houston County work from home a little less often than teleworkers in other communities.  

“It has been a pleasure working with Connected Nation Texas on our broadband survey and developing an actionable plan to strategically move our city and county forward in providing digital access to all of our current and future residents,” said John Angerstein, Crockett City Administrator. “I look forward to working with them on future projects to realize those goals!”

The action plan addresses these issues and suggests practical solutions the community can implement.  Some of these solutions include:

  • Establish a broadband office to oversee broadband infrastructure and adoption in Houston County. 
  • Increase access to broadband throughout Houston County by deploying RFPs for assets the county may own and share with providers in addition to field validation to understand where there is and is not service.
  • Expand broadband offerings by educating the community about low -cost options available via federal government or local providers.

“Houston County has brought together many leaders to work toward bringing broadband to all sectors,” said Pamela Waggoner, Broadband Solutions Manager for CN Texas. “By implementing the actions CN Texas has provided and by using incoming grants and services wisely, Houston County is set up to be successful. I look forward to continuing to work with leadership.”

To view the full results of the Houston County broadband surveys, check out: https://connectednation.org/houston-county-texas/

To date, the Connected Community Engagement Program has helped more than 650 communities with similar broadband challenges. CN Texas staff analyzed data and held meetings with community officials to determine specific community needs.

To learn more about the Connected Community Engagement Program, visit: https://connectednation.org/connect-my-community/

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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.

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