Polk County approves contract to bring fiber broadband service
POLK COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Broadband expansion efforts are in progress to extend internet access to rural areas in Polk County.
“It’s going to make a tremendous difference in terms of the services that we can provide as a government entity and in terms of the services that our residents can expect and should expect,” said County Judge Sydney Murphy. Attempts to get reliable internet have been a long-term effort since 2018.
Towns like Corrigan, Moscow and Leggett deal with a lack of cell service, internet and broadband on a regular basis, and it was time to make a change. “Even though you spoke to legislators and you spoke with different people, they all said ‘no, Polk County has complete coverage....’ Well, those of us that live in Polk County know we don’t,” Murphy said.
The Polk County commissioners voted unanimously in their last meeting to sign a contract with Eastex Telephone to bring in fiber broadband connectivity for rural areas. The county sent out request proposals back in June, and the contract with Eastex will cost $4.2 million dollars. The court agreed on using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Murphy said their first priority is to have connectivity covering their major roadways, including U.S. 59 and intersections of state highways 190, 287, and 146. “That would cover every school in Polk County, that would increase economic development opportunities for the businesses along those roadways and it will allow the schools to do whatever they need to be done regardless of what the future held — in terms of pandemics or closures.”
Eastex will framework the fiber internet to be built underground. It’s estimated to take 3 to 4 years for the project to be completed.
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