315,000 households across Texas still lack access to federally recognized broadband speeds
Austin, TX (December 18, 2020) – Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) just published updated broadband coverage maps for all 254 counties in the state. This is the third update to these maps, which provide new observations and insights.
“We must continue to improve and refine the data on these broadband coverage maps,” said Jennifer Harris, state program director, CN Texas. “That way we can get a more complete picture of the broadband landscape across Texas—specifically identifying more accurately where households and even whole communities lack high-speed internet access. This information and data can then help inform decisions at both the state and community level, ensuring that more effective and intelligent investments are made to connect those areas with the greatest need.”
CN Texas released the initial maps in January of 2020 and updated maps in late July. Each new set of maps includes additional input from residents, businesses and communities, as well as new, more granular data from internet service providers (ISPs).
“We will be providing, in total, five mapping updates for Texas, which is a robust and aggressive approach to tackling the issue of connectivity in the state,” said Ashley Hitt, Vice President, GIS Services, Connected Nation. “Each iteration is improved by public feedback, working with providers to refine their data, and continued field validation so that the data truly reflects what broadband coverage looks like across Texas.”
In addition to state-level maps, each county has four maps based on four different download and upload speeds for internet service. You can find your county map and review its updated information and provide feedback by heading to https://connectednation.hatfield.marketing/texas/2020-county-maps/.
You can also find an interactive map at https://connectednation.hatfield.marketing/texas/interactivemap.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) classifies high-speed internet speeds at 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload (listed below as 25×3). Some key findings from the new data include:
- Over 315,000 households remain unserved at 25×3 speeds.
- 28 counties have less than half of their households served by 25×3 broadband.
- Rural availability drops significantly as speeds increase, especially compared to overall Texas availability.
- Overall availability decreases from 96.5% at 25×3 speeds to 88.6% at 100×10 speeds.
- For rural areas, availability decreases from 90.3% at 25×3 speeds to 68.9% at 100×10 speeds.
“To close the Digital Divide in Texas, we need accurate data on where Texans are connected and where they lack basic infrastructure to participate in the digital world,” said Ellen Ray, Chair, Texas Rural Funders and Executive Director, Still Water Foundation. “The future of Texas education, healthcare, and economic development will depend on all Texans having the ability to access high-speed internet. Texas Rural Funders is proud to support Connected Nation Texas in providing critical broadband data for community planning and legislative decision making.”
CN Texas is taking a four-pronged approach to improving access for all Texans: working directly with broadband providers to obtain accurate broadband service coverage areas; focusing on getting good data to decision-makers; helping people understand the benefits of broadband; and understanding how we can expand broadband access and use to rural Texans.
By working in partnership with local stakeholders, internet service providers, and community and state leaders, the hope is to identify ways to connect every community in the state.
“This map would not be possible had it not been for the participation of the broadband providers and the cooperation of the telecommunications trade associations across the state. We want to take this opportunity to thank those broadband providers that worked so closely with us over the past year and a half,” said Chip Spann, CN Director of Engineering and Technical Services.
Jessica Denson, Communications Director
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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.hatfield.marketing and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Texas Rural Funders: The mission of the Texas Rural Funders (TRF) is to partner with rural Texans to achieve their vision of prosperity and wellbeing. The group’s strategies recognize and are informed by rural expertise and assets. The TRF leverages local, philanthropic, state and federal resources to collaborate on projects, support local capacity and leadership, share research, convene stakeholders and engage in advocacy. More information can be found on the TRF webpage at: https://www.edtx.org/get-involved/texas-rural-funders
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