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DETCOG CEO gives update on broadband funding status

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 12:41 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Deep East Texas Council of Governments was denied in its application for a $100 million grant to help provide broadband internet access to the area.

“Unfortunately, the grant results were announced and we came up two and half points short on that $100-million grant,” said DETCOG CEO Lonnie Hunt during a Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce Stakeholders Conference Call on Tuesday.

However, Hunt said they are not giving up.

“We have appealed that scoring because we found a couple of things where we think they made an error and should have scored us higher. And it would have put us in the money,” he said.

Winning an appeal is a long shot, but worth the try, according to Hunt.

“If we’re not successful with the appeal we won’t stop. It will take us longer to get it done, but we’re committed to the task,” he said.

Hunt is pleased with legislative action to develop a statewide broadband plan, noting the move will add those valuable points needed in future grant requests.

“One of the questions is, does your state have a state broadband plan. And if you check that box you pick up points,” said Hunt.

Hunt did remind listeners DETCOG was approved in March for a $9-million grant specifically for northern Newton County. Still, the wait continues for a state contract with the General Land Office so implementation can begin.

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