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Broadband internet expansion campaign to begin in Nacogdoches County

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 3:22 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - A broadband survey, this time in Nacogdoches, is underway. The initiative is similar to questions asked in other regions of Deep East Texas, except that it’s specifically for Nacogdoches city and county residents. The data from residents is essential to obtaining improved service.

Broadband Committee/Better Together chair Erin Windham easily connects to internet services at work, but at her home, it’s much slower.

Connected Nation Texas has questions that need answers to bring down broadband barriers.

“Is it available where you are or just not strong enough? Bandwidth issues? Is it just not affordable where you are, does your next-door neighbor have it, and you don’t for some reason?” Windham said.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to fill out and is divided into different sectors.

“Household, business, agriculture, health, higher education, K-12, library and organizations, public safety, and government. And you may take more than one survey if you have more than one role,” Windham explained.

The effort is called a Technology Action Plan and similar to ones launched by the Deep East Texas Council of Governments in other counties. Stephen F. Austin State University, City of Nacogdoches, County of Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches ISD, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, NacSpace, and Better Together, which is a community collaborative focused on improving the health and well-being of all Nacogdoches County residents. Better Together’s initiatives are funded via the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health’s Collaborative Approaches to Well-Being in Rural Communities Initiative.

“Better Together started the whole process of getting the Technology Action Plan started and put in $26,000,” stated Windham.

“What Connected Nation does is takes all the data from the survey and puts it together on a report, a heat map of sorts, to show where the areas really are that are lacking and then help us put together a plan of what to do next with that information,” Windham said.

City leaders know strong internet is essential in today’s world.

“It certainly is always a question with new companies and also people who are hoping to locate here and work from home,” said Larissa Philpot who leads the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation. “So, it’s a question asked all the time.”

The public’s questions will be answered at a special program on Monday, July 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Nacogdoches Expo. The survey can be found at myconnectedcommunity.org/nacogdoches-county/.

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