Peter pan

Amarillo Connected network being built for high-speed connectivity

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – Amarillo Connected, which is currently under construction, will bring high-speed connectivity to those in Amarillo who currently do not have it.

The digital divide is not new but covid has amplified it by showing how essential the Internet is.

“The digital divide is not a new thing, it has been around for a long time, but obviously the impact of covid and the new norms that have come out of the post-pandemic world have not only shone a spotlight on those who don’t have connectivity, but it amplifies the impact of not having that connectivity,” says Rich Gagnon, Deputy City Manager and CIO, City of Amarillo.

The network will be fiber optic, connecting to 23,000 homes, apartments, government buildings and businesses in North Amarillo.

“It’s not only good for residents, but it’s also good for business,” says Gagnon. “They don’t just connect homes, they provide connectivity to businesses in areas that don’t have adequate broadband today. The Council brought $4.5 billion in business and thousands of jobs. We must continually develop the workforce that attracts these kinds of businesses to begging. Offering high-speed connectivity allows us to do this, from students to adults. »

The aim is to bridge the digital divide so that the plan is free of charge for citizens who need financial assistance.

The city has been working for months on a broadband access plan to support low internet areas and low income families.

“It will provide $30 a month for basic internet and we’ve built our contract so that the basic plan provided by AT&T is 100MB each way and that’s $30 a month,” explains Gagnon. “It really helps families who just can’t afford high-speed connectivity.”

In January, the first houses will be connected and over the next 18 to 36 months the project should be completed.