DETCOG conducts broadband survey to better understand internet speeds

DETCOG official: FCC maps show coverage in areas where there is none

DETCOG conducts broadband survey to better understand internet speeds

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There's no denying that the internet is a big part of everyday life. We use it for shopping, business, and education.

But in rural America- especially parts of Texas - the technology hasn’t been able to keep up with the need. The Deep East Texas Council of Governments hopes an internet speed survey could lead to federal grant money that would improve service.

Houston County resident Donna McCarty, explained the challenges of internet service in East Texas.

“Most of the schoolwork is done on the internet. Research and stuff,” she said.

Raising her children, she said she often had to make many trips just for her children’s assignments.

“We would have to go the library, or we would have to drive all the way to Lufkin to my parents,” McCarty said.

Her internet woes are just one example of challenges East Texans face with connectivity. DETCOG is working to find a resolution. They’ree collecting information on internet speeds via a speed test survey.

“We know that there are FCC maps for the whole country that show where there’s broadband coverage and what the speeds, are and we know that those maps are inaccurate. We know that they show coverage in much of our area where there is none,” said DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt.

Hunt said they hope to use the data from the survey to prove most of the area is not served or undeserved when it comes to access to the internet.

“A lot of the federal grant money that will be coming down in the future is going to be tied to areas where there are no service currently,” Hunt said.

That means areas that have not shown to have reached the federal definitions for up-to-date internet service.

DETCOG says the internet speed test survey should take no longer than five minutes. They want residents to take the survey with the home internet service by March 17th.

DETCOG says the goal is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the entire DETCOG region, especially the most rural areas.

Click here to take the survey. It ends Sunday, March 17.

Previous: DETCOG conducts broadband survey to get better look at internet speeds

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments is conducting a broadband study. DETCOG is asking residents and businesses to take the survey so it can better understand the internet speeds people have access to in Deep East Texas.

DETCOG says the goal is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the entire DETCOG region, especially the most rural areas.

Click here to take the survey. It ends Sunday, March 17.

In addition to the survey, Texas State Senator Robert Nichols filed Senate Bill 14 in February. The bill would help increase access to broadband internet for rural areas in Texas.

Nichols’ proposed plan would be done through the help of Texas electric cooperatives. According to SB 14, these co-ops are nonprofits that have “more than 300,000 miles of distribution lines” that could be tapped into for broadband support. The idea is to use the existing electricity infrastructure to deploy broadband to the members they serve and meet their need for high-speed internet.

If SB 14 passes, it would not be a mandate, it would be optional for co-ops to offer to its members. Nichols said each co-op would lay out a presentation, similar to a board meeting or stockholders meeting, and the co-op’s members would either agree to do it or not.

As of Thursday, SB 14 has picked up 15 coauthors.

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