Harrison County, Texas (October 20, 2021) – Harrison County, located in northeast Texas along the Louisiana border, is putting a plan into place to expand broadband within the county. A Technology Action Plan has been developed by Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas), following a county-wide study conducted between November 2020 and June 2021. The purpose of the study was to determine the community’s access, adoption, and use of the internet. In total, the study collected responses from 1,519 residential households.
Key highlights from the study include:
- For households that said they do not subscribe to home internet service, the top barrier was a lack of available service, followed by the cost of internet service.
- The average internet speed reported by households in Harrison County (23.68 Mbps) is significantly lower than connections in other Connected communities (33.70 Mbps) and is below the current FCC definition of broadband (minimum speed of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload).
- 93% of households said they would like to have improved or additional options for home internet service.
“From Harleton to Jonesville, residents provided feedback on their broadband needs and wants. According to survey feedback, community members are wanting faster, more reliable, yet affordable broadband,” said Harrison County Judge Chad Sims. “Broadband contributes to a thriving economy, allows employees to further their digital skills, and helps students achieve new merits. With innumerable benefits, broadband expansion is a priority for this county.”
This project was made possible through funding provided by the Texas Rural Funders, a philanthropic organization based in Texas, who are dedicated to working with rural communities to develop and implement solutions designed to meet the unique challenges they face.
The Technology Action Plan provided to Harrison County includes the following recommendations:
- Develop a broadband technology council in Harrison County
- Increase broadband speeds in unserved and underserved areas of Harrison County
- Prioritize broadband as an important tool for digital adoption, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and advancing economic and community development opportunities
“Broadband is demanded not only for new growth to occur but also to retain existing businesses and workforce,” said Rush Harris, Executive Director of the Marshall Economic Development Corporation. “It is now as essential to have broadband as it is to have water, sewer, electricity, and natural gas for a modern business and modern community.”
To view the full results of the Harrison County broadband survey, check out:
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.
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 TRF 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://texasruralfunders.org/
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