MEMPHIS, Texas (KAMR / KCIT) – Officials from the Hall County Broadband Committee have released information from its study with Connected Nation Texas, recommending various findings to improve broadband access and speeds across the county.
It comes after the City of Amarillo City Council approved a broadband initiative for Potter and Randall counties. According to previous reports from MyHighPlains.com, the city is using part of its US bailout allocation for an initiative that is expected to bring high-speed access to parts of the city that are struggling to access high-speed internet.
According to a press release, the Hall County Broadband Committee is made up of local leaders and stakeholders. The committee worked with Connected Nation Texas to develop a technology action plan for the county.
“Ensuring that every resident, business and community organization has access to a reliable internet is essential. It impacts everything from education to economics, ”Hall County Judge Ray Powell said in the statement. “That’s why we worked with Connected Nation Texas to identify challenges and opportunities to improve our Internet access and speeds in Hall County. We now have a much clearer picture of the current broadband landscape in our region. “
A county-wide survey conducted as part of this plan found that the average internet speed reported by residential survey respondents was 13.70 Mbps, and 61% of households and businesses said they were dissatisfied. of their current internet service due to slow speeds, unreliable connections and high prices.
“Identifying the barriers and entry points where better connectivity is needed is part of the plan. In addition, we also worked with the region’s internet service providers and other stakeholders to collect additional data points. Then, using our Connected Community Engagement program, which has helped nearly 650 communities nationwide, we developed a plan tailored to Hall County, ”said Sierra Sees, Head of Broadband Solutions for Connected. Nation Texas, in the press release. “This plan provides a summary of current access, including demand for services, and a series of concrete steps that can improve Internet access across the country.”
Committee officials have set three goals for providing high-speed internet access throughout Hall County:
- Promote broadband as a gateway to economic and community development;
- Promote low-cost broadband offers for vulnerable populations and increase access;
- Leverage community strengths and partnerships to increase broadband speeds in Hall County.
“As educators, we know that broadband is important to our students, not only in the classroom, but also at home, where learning and development continues. The importance of local data supporting the digital needs and wants of residents and institutions in the community cannot be overstated, ”said Kitsy Pepper, technology specialist and educational grants writer for the Memphis Independent School. District, in the press release. “We know what the barriers to access are and where there are opportunities for improvement. Together, we can create lasting, positive change that will help everyone in our country. “