EL PASO, Texas (August 20, 2021) – The University of Texas at El Paso hosted Operation Connectivity for an update on the group’s progress to provide 5.5 million Texas public school students with a device online learning supported by a reliable Internet connection.
Operation Connectivity, a joint effort between Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Legislature, the Dallas Independent School District and the Texas Education Agency, took stock Friday at the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center in UTEP.
Gaby Rowe, Head of Operational Connectivity and Lead Partner of Grow Associates, stressed to the audience that it would take a team effort to advance progress in connectivity to ensure communities like El Paso are competitive. in the future.
“The University has played an incredible role in bringing together all those who matter around this issue,” Rowe said. “A huge thank you to Dr Wilson and the staff for bringing the right people into the room; the people who care and the people who can make a difference.
During the update, the group discussed the progress of Phase 2, mapping and adopting existing infrastructure for economically disadvantaged students. The organizers said they were ready to enter phase 3, “the development and adoption of new infrastructure”, and the El Paso region will be one of the participants.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity before us, as we continue to make El Paso the world’s largest binational connected community and a visionary region leading efforts to bridge the digital divide,” said Ivette. Savina, Assistant Vice-President. for the awareness and access of students to UTEP.
Operation leaders chose El Paso in part because of the strong partnerships established by Digital El Paso, a public / private partnership led by El Paso County. According to its website, Digital El Paso wants to develop and adopt a clear regional plan for broadband, and expand the regional definition of infrastructure to include broadband as the fourth public service. Its members include UTEP, El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, Borderplex Alliance, El Paso County, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
The event included welcoming remarks from UTEP President Heather Wilson and presentations on Digital El Paso and Operation Connectivity efforts, launched in May 2020. Operation Connectivity worked to map broadband capabilities in economically disadvantaged areas based on the latest US census data in partnership. with Connected Nation, a national non-profit organization that helps agencies develop solutions to gaps in digital technology and high-speed internet.
Organizers hoped that the information shared at this meeting at UTEP would encourage stakeholders to move forward as a group to cultivate an inclusive broadband connectivity proposal. They plan to start phase 3 in September 2021.
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