DETCOG supports $42M broadband internet expansion effort
DEEP EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Rural areas such as Sabine County, Newton County, and Polk County have struggled with bringing broadband internet availability to homes in the region. DETCOG sponsors projects that support broadband connection for every area.
“These issues with broadband and poor cell phone coverage really affect us more than they do just about any other region of Texas,” said Hunt.
“Every single household no matter how rural or how remote has to be included in this solution, unfortunately we don’t have that today because everything we have today is based on a for-profit business model,” said Hunt.
According to the Texas Broadband Development Office, 28.5% of households have no access to broadband in Deep East Texas. DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt said that because big service providers can’t make a profit off rural populations, residents in those areas are out of luck. Until now.
“We’re at a point now where we have one project under way and another big project that we’re planning for, and then at the same time we’re helping anybody and everybody else that’s trying to address this problem,” said Hunt.
DETCOG is supporting a $42 million project to bring a fixed wireless network to San Augustine, Newton, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler counties.
Hunt said while DETCOG is determined to bring broadband to every rural home and business, this is an alternative.
“The fixed wireless is certainly better than what most of our people in deep east texas have right now, it allows us to expand it over a much larger footprint and make sure we’re providing service to many more people than we could ever hope to do with just fiber,” said Hunt.
The Deep East Texas Council of Governments hopes to have a fixed wireless network in service for the area by the end of 2024.
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