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Shackelford County Texas


The broadband team in Shackelford County has completed its community technology assessment. The results of this assessment can be found by clicking the symbol for each of the sections below. The Solutions sector includes recommended actions the community can implement to improve the broadband and technology ecosystem at a local level. It should be noted that much of the assessment was conducted before or at the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide event likely impacted many of the metrics included in this assessment.

Connected Infrastructure in Shackelford County, Texas

Broadband access refers to the infrastructure that enables a high-speed internet connection. There are two primary types of broadband connections: fixed and mobile.

Fixed broadband is delivered to a user via several technology platforms including cable, digital subscriber line (DSL) over phone line, fiber optics, and fixed wireless. Fixed broadband is designed for stationary use at a fixed location such as a home, business, or institution. With a location, however, fixed broadband service is often broadcast as a Wi-Fi network to connect nearby devices.

The following map shows broadband availability in Shackelford County.

Recommended Actions


To ensure the success of the community action plan and to equip Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties with the necessary tools for broadband growth, the communities will centralize broadband expansion and improvement efforts in a single entity: a broadband liaison. Ideally this broadband liaison will 1) promote broadband and technology access, adoption, and use; 2) serve as the go-to resource for broadband and technology needs; 3) seek ways to educate and empower the community regarding broadband and related technology; 4) take priority action on recommendations from the community action plan and implement other programs that are necessary and beneficial to the growth of the community; 5) monitor federal grant applications and expenditures. Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties should each appoint a broadband liaison. The Commissioners Court in each County will need to independently appoint a specific individual as liaison to ensure he/she has full power to act on behalf of the county on matters pertaining to broadband, funding, and community partnerships. Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties, while similar, have unique broadband needs that highlight the importance of a County-specific broadband liaison. For example, 72% of households in Throckmorton County have access to broadband at speeds of 25/3 Mbps. In contrast, 25% of households in Shackelford County have access to broadband at speeds of 25/3 Mbps.

Should Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties be unable to appoint individual broadband liaisons, the communities should pursue appointment of a joint staffer to serve in this capacity. Community-specific leadership is the primary goal with dual-county partnership serving as an alternative.

Ultimately, it should be noted that both Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties will find it very difficult to achieve broadband advancement and implement the goals set forth in this action plan without first identifying community leadership. Without a broadband liaison to serve as the tactical lead on broadband projects, both counties will struggle with organization and a clear infrastructure development plan.


Designate a local leader to oversee broadband improvement projects, grant applications, and community relations with internet service providers in Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties.


Action 1 - The Commissioners Court in Throckmorton County and Shackelford County should appoint broadband liaisons- one for each community. The broadband liaison will serve the County on broadband matters. The liaison should be knowledgeable on broadband, understand the demographics of Throckmorton or Shackelford County, and be prepared to work collaboratively with community organizations. The liaison should receive appointment, or approval, from the Commissioners Court. It is important for the local government to take ownership in this appointment as the liaison will be the leading voice and decision-maker on broadband matters.

Officials who should appoint the broadband liaison:

Shackelford County:
Judge Robert Skelton
Commissioners: Steve Riley, Ace Reames, Lanham Martin, Cody Jordan

Throckmorton County:
Judge Trey Carrington
Commissioners: Trey Wells, John Johns, Lance Sullivan, Joe Edd Chandler

Action 2 - Community leaders should identify an agreed-upon list of duties the broadband liaison will be responsible for in his/her official capacity. The liaison should establish an office within the Chambers of Commerce (Throckmorton Chamber, Albany Chamber). The Chambers already conducts critical work in each community, connecting residents to vital resources and promoting economic opportunities.

Responsibilities of the broadband liaison could include:

  • Serve as the go-to resource for broadband information within the immediate community
  • Educate county leaders and residents on broadband programs, opportunities, and benefits
  • Monitor grant expenditures within each county. Report concerns to Commissioners Court
  • Stay up to date on current broadband grant programs at the state and federal level and apply to programs as they become available (See the Internet Society and Connected Nation references below)
  • Work with community organizations and internet service providers on broadband initiatives

Action 3 - The broadband liaison should identify county stakeholders and representatives from regional organizations and broadband providers who can augment his/her work as the central authority on broadband. These partnerships should be used to further the community’s broadband agenda and ensure this action plan is adopted in a timely fashion.

Community stakeholders and regional organizations:

  • West Central Texas Council of Governments
  • Other “Connected Communities”: Fisher, Jones, others to come
  • Rep. David Spiller’s Office
    • Robyn Wertheim
  • Congressman Arrington’s Office
    • Kaley Mathis
  • Chambers of Commerce: Throckmorton, Albany
  • Throckmorton City Council
  • Internet Service Providers
  • Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas

Action 4- The liaisons from Throckmorton County and Shackelford County should meet at least once a month to discuss ongoing broadband projects in each community. It is paramount that the counties recognize the value of partnership in the broadband sphere. Broadband expansion and improvement projects can be expensive, time-consuming, and competitive, making a dual-county partnership valuable for all parties. Not only will the partnership be marketable to broadband providers, but it will bolster general broadband opportunities.

Responsible Parties

Local units of government; Broadband providers; Community and regional organizations


Throckmorton County and Shackelford County officials should convene within six weeks of this action plan to discuss appointment of a single broadband liaison. The liaison should be appointed within 14 weeks of this plan.


Texas Broadband Providers by County

Current Broadband Funding

Guide to Federal Broadband Funding Opportunities in the U.S.

Texas County Maps: Connected Nation


To understand what broadband looks like in a community, it is important to properly define it. Defined simply, broadband is high-speed internet access that is always on. Broadband is understood to be faster than traditional dial-up service and includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as fiber and cable. For the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), broadband capability requires consumers to have access to advertised download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and advertised upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. This is often written simply as 25/3 Mbps. Taking this information and applying it to Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties, it is important to look at maps, specifically maps that indicate broadband availability. According to CN Texas broadband data collected in July 2021, only 25% of households in Shackelford County are served at the 25/3 Mbps threshold. This leaves 1,020 homes unserved. In Throckmorton County, 71.51% of homes are served at the 25/3 Mbps threshold with 205 homes unserved.

Looking at the survey results for Throckmorton and Shackelford County, 49% of employed survey respondents in Shackelford County and 58% of employed respondents in Throckmorton County indicated they telework in some capacity. Teleworkers need reliable and fast internet connections to fulfill professional obligations. Looking beyond telework, reliable and fast internet is essential to connectivity and functionality. For Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties, the issue is not a lack of broadband use, it is a lack of broadband availability to meet the needs of community members. Improving broadband speeds and connectivity will come with associated costs, making partnerships with community organizations, internet service providers, and financial supporters advantageous for the community and its residents.


Promote greater broadband access, adoption and use in Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties through broadband infrastructure projects (improvements and expansions).


Action 1 - To effectively understand the broadband funding landscape in Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties, community leaders should meet with internet service providers who have already been allocated federal money, including recipients of funding through the Connect America Fund (CAF) and the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The community should meet with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to assess the status of ongoing or upcoming infrastructure improvement and expansion projects. As community leaders consider expanding and improving broadband infrastructure, the goal should be to pursue strategic projects that are not needlessly redundant (i.e., expand access where RDOF and CAF winners are already working).

Shackelford County:
RDOF (RDOF Phase I Auction Winning Bids): Resound Networks (539 locations, $668,932.50)
CAF (CAF Phase II Auction Winning Bids): Nextlink, 3 locations, $13,150.00
ISPs: AMA TechTel Communications, Nextlink, Brazos Telephone Coop, New Source Broadband, Rise Broadband, AT&T, Taylor Telecom, Transworld, Windstream

Throckmorton County:
RDOF (RDOF Phase I Auction Winning Bids): Nextlink (98 locations, $98,775.90), Resound Networks (37 locations, $38,339.80)
CAF (CAF Phase II Auction Winning Bids): Nextlink (112 locations, $1,051,611.00)
ISPs: Nextlink, Brazos Telephone Coop, New Source Broadband, Santa Rosa, Windstream

Action 2 - During meetings with providers, community leaders should discuss the role the county or a city could play (through financial backing or strategic partnership) to speed up or ensure project completion or start a new project altogether. Ultimately, Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties should play a strategic role in ongoing or planned projects that will widely benefit the most residents.

Both Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties have been allocated Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Throckmorton has been allocated $291,000 and Shackleford has been allocated $634,000. Should Throckmorton County or Shackelford County choose to spend any of these federal funds on broadband, it is important that they are prepared, informed, and equipped to begin working with reliable partners.

Action 3 - Both Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties should establish and maintain relationships with regional organizations and elected officials. Additionally, the county should engage in regional broadband planning efforts with the express intent of improving broadband access, adoption, and use among residents and surrounding communities. Not only will residents benefit from broadband improvement inside Throckmorton and Shackelford County lines, but they will reap the benefits of broadband advancements in surrounding communities economically, technologically, and socially.

Regional Organizations and Elected Officials to Partner With:

  • West Central Texas Council of Governments
  • Other “Connected Communities:” Fisher, Jones, others to come
  • Rep. David Spiller
    • Robyn Wertheim
  • Congressman Arrington’s Office
    • Kaley Mathis
  • Chambers of Commerce: Throckmorton, Albany
  • Throckmorton City Council

Action 4 - As community leaders and broadband liaisons from Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties meet with broadband providers and discuss federal grant monies and community infrastructure, leaders should consider the value of public-private partnerships (PPP). Public-private partnerships take many forms and allow both parties (in this case the county and a broadband provider) to leverage an asset that the other does not have or cannot easily acquire. The community can offer infrastructure (publicly owned building rooftops, light poles, towers and other vertical assets for mounting infrastructure) for deployment of a network, as well as committed anchor tenants. Private-sector partners bring network-building and operations experience. Elements to consider include competition, enhanced service, risk avoidance, and redundancy. It is also important for the community to consider all legal obligations when entering partnership negotiations.

Examples of PPPs

  • Model 1: Private Investment, Public Facilitation: Make available public assets like fiber and conduit, share geographic information systems data, streamline permitting and inspection processes, offer economic development incentives to attract private broadband investment.
  • Model 2: Private Execution, Public Funding: Identify revenue streams that can be directed to a private partner, issue RFP for private turnkey execution.
  • Model 3: Shared Investment and Risk: Evaluate using assets to attract private investment, evaluate funding new assets to attract private investment, evaluate building new fiber assets to businesses and/or homes for leasing to private ISPs.

Responsible Parties

Local units of government; Broadband providers; Community and regional organizations.


Community leaders should begin meeting with internet service providers within three months of receiving this plan. While Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties do not have to allocate funding or spend federal dollars within that same three months, the community should outline the scope of broadband infrastructure projects (ongoing and planned) within that timeline.


Shackelford County Broadband Map (CN Texas)

Throckmorton County Broadband Map (CN Texas)

Glossary of Terms (CN Texas)

Texas Broadband Providers by County

Auction 904: Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Connect America Fund Phase II FAQs

Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, County Allocation

Guide to Federal Broadband Funding Opportunities in the U.S.

Current Broadband Funding

BroadbandUSA: Federal Funding Guide

An introduction to effective public-private partnerships for broadband investments


For those unfamiliar with the term, digital literacy seems like a complex concept, but put simply, it is an individual’s ability to interact and exchange information via digital platforms efficiently and successfully. As the name suggests, digital literacy necessitates a level of competency and skill. Digital literacy then is an understanding of the digital environment and all the software, social media platforms, and lingo that come along with it. For rural Americans, digital literacy can be stunted by many things including lack of devices, engagement opportunities, and general infrastructure. By providing training workshops focused on digital readiness and inclusion, a community can equip its citizens for digital immersion and advancement for the here and now and into the future. Digital literacy and inclusion focuses not just on access to devices and broadband internet, but the skills needed to engage on these platforms. It is important for community residents and leaders to be digitally engaged to stay informed and connected.


Implement digital literacy and digital skills workshops in each community with an emphasis on social media and website skills/training to ensure all residents and community leaders are equipped to access and use digital devices and services.


Action 1 – Not only should residents feel comfortable engaging online, but they should seek out the benefits offered by online platforms and tools. As such, the aforementioned broadband liaisons should identify regional and community partners who possess resources and expertise in producing free digital literacy and digital skills workshops. Workshops should address topics ranging from workforce skills to online safety. The intention is to equip residents and community leaders with the digital skills necessary to engage online.

Workshop topics to consider:

  • Navigating social media
  • How to use Microsoft Office Suite
  • Online safety Tips and Tricks
  • How-To Teleconference

Community partners to consider:

  • Community institutions and businesses who would directly benefit from greater online engagement (i.e., banks, telehealth providers, online schools)
  • Libraries: Depot Public Library, Shackelford County Library
  • IT Director: School and County level
  • Broadband Providers
  • Chambers of Commerce: Throckmorton and Albany
  • Throckmorton City Council
  • West Central Texas Council of Governments

Action 2 - Curriculum should be developed using publicly available programs, such as AARP, Digital Learn, and Drive (resources linked below), and county-sourced information. Workshops should take place at local facilities, such as the library or school gym, and be promoted through local media.

Media outlets for marketing:

  • Throckmorton Tribune
  • KJTV Fox 34
  • The Albany News

Action 3 - The broadband liaisons should identify community partners for the workshops. Partners can include financial supporters, guest speakers/presenters, and curriculum developers. Specifically, the broadband liaisons should consider inviting ISPs to sponsor or attend the workshop, as a successful community event could translate to more business for the provider. Additionally, the liaisons should utilize public officials (i.e., sheriff, county commissioners) and local business owners to lead workshops on topics such as cybersecurity and social media. The digital engagement workshops should be a community effort. Not only should the curriculum meet the needs of the residents and community leaders, but residents and leaders should likewise contribute content and resources according to their specialty within the community.

Action 4 - The community should host workshops designed specifically to get community organization, businesses, and community leaders engaged online through websites and social media. In an increasingly digital society, it is paramount that community leaders use digital platforms to keep residents engaged. Websites and social media are an integral component of modern communication and real-time updates. For government entities, public safety institutions, K-12 schools, community organizations, and businesses, an online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Furthermore, community workshops should work to ensure community officials and leaders have the digital know-how and confidence to engage online.

Responsible Parties

Media outlets; Broadband providers; Community anchor institutions: schools; libraries; Local units of government


Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties should implement digital inclusion and literacy programs by the end of Q1 2022. Curriculum building and resource gathering can begin immediately to ensure a timely start to community workshops. Every six months, the community should evaluate the status of available curriculum to determine if updates are needed.


Texas Broadband Providers by County

The complete guide to digital skills

AARP Joins with Nonprofit to Teach Tech to Older Adults

Digital Learn: Use a computer to do almost anything!

What we do for you: Digital Inclusion

What we do for you: Drive your learning

Five Digital Inclusion Trends in the United States


Through the Connected program, Throckmorton County and Shackelford County evaluated their respective community broadband environments, analyzing internet needs and wants of residents and evaluating rates of broadband access, adoption, and use among key community sectors. The broadband assessment is intended to inform a community action plan that will help improve resident’s quality of life, increase economic development, and lead to overall community development and prosperity. Broadband is an integral part of everyday life, and it is important for both counties to ensure residents have the resources, skills, and opportunity to engage online in pursuit of social, economic, and professional growth.


Demonstrate the importance (personal, professional, and economic benefits) of broadband in a digitally inclusive and evolved community.


Action 1 - County leaders should identify key advocates in each of the following areas who will work in tandem with the broadband liaisons to educate the general community about the short- and long-term benefits of broadband adoption.

  • Economy - Economic Development, Commissioners Court
  • Telehealth - Shackelford County Health Clinic, Kindred at Home, Above and Beyond Counseling
  • Telework - Chambers of Commerce, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, School Superintendents (Jonathan Scott, Dr. Michelle Cline, Casey Adams, Dr. John Denson)
  • Communication - Broadband Providers

Promote e-commerce as the gateway to the global economy: As businesses and community organizations expand their online presence, they expand their customer pool and ultimately increase profit. By utilizing websites and social media to market services and sell products, businesses can take part in a larger digital economy. As Throckmorton and Shackelford County businesses succeed in the global market, the benefit will be sown directly in the community through increased employment, increased wages, and greater economic success.

Showcase physical health and time-saving benefits of telehealth services: The future of medicine is online. For communities who lack large hospitals, general practitioners, surgical attendees, and medical specialists, telehealth is a natural substitute. Online medical services allow communities to speak with top-of-the-line doctors, dentists, surgeons, dermatologists, veterinarians through a click of a button. These online services are not only important in times of emergency, but they allow residents flexibility when meeting with medical professionals. No longer do you have to take off work to drive to the clinic, but rather you can step outside your office building and speak to your physician through your phone and then return to your desk.

Highlight economic and practical advantages of telework: Americans have long valued flexible work schedules including work from home and part-time shifts. The COVID-19 pandemic further showcased just how important it is for homeowners and renters alike to be able to reliably connect to the internet to fulfill their professional obligations. By teleworking, an employee can reside in rural Throckmorton County or Shackelford County but be employed by a company in Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, or another state entirely. Ultimately, this can be used as a marketing tool by the community: live here, enjoy a lower cost of living, but do not give up your online job! Telework expands employee and employer options which in turn can lead to greater economic success. The key to telework is adequate digital skills to engage online and a reliable internet connection.

Expand the use of digital communication for personal and professional networking: Broadband is what allows a grandmother to FaceTime her grandchildren who live seven states away in the middle of a global pandemic. Broadband is what empowers communication today; it is what connects people and allows them to stay engaged, informed, and close despite time and space. As technology and society continues to evolve, broadband will continue to be the common thread in all things communication. Broadband will be how companies communicate (be it Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams Conferences) or how families stay connected.

Action 2 - The broadband liaison should integrate discussions of quality of life into digital literacy and digital skills workshops. Information about upcoming workshops should be readily accessible and widely publicized. This includes advertising about upcoming workshops through social media, on government websites, in local newspapers, and other local outlets (i.e., advertisements in the water bill, flyers at the local park, and school announcements). General discussion about the benefits of broadband on the community’s overall wellbeing and development should be added to Commissioners Court meetings, City Council Meetings, and other already established county-wide meetings.

Responsible Parties

Residents; Local units of government; Community organizations; Businesses; Internet service providers


With greater broadband adoption and use comes greater quality of life. As such, Throckmorton and Shackelford Counties should implement short and long-term solutions designed to encourage digital engagement. Immediate actions, including disseminating information about the importance of broadband, should begin within 1 month of this action plan. Long-term solutions including infrastructure development and improvements should be contracted, scheduled, and in-progress or completed no later than 2025.


Improving the Quality of Life in Rural America With Broadband Internet

Implementing Productive Teleworking with Business-Quality Mobile Communications

How Better Broadband Access Will Help Telemedicine Reach Its Full Potential

Texas Broadband Providers by County

The Benefit that Broadband Internet Offers for E-commerce