New Technology Action Plan to bring expanded broadband opportunities to one Texas community

Clay County, Texas (March 22, 2022) – Clay County is ready to put a Technology Action Plan into place that could bridge the Digital Divide for residents. The plan comes following the completion of a broadband engagement survey that took place between September and November 2021. The county collected responses from 462 households, 24 businesses, and 4 K-12 facilities, in addition to other community sectors. The survey was conducted in partnership with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas). 

The community initiative asked Clay County residents, businesses, and community institutions to complete surveys as part of the Connected Community Engagement Program, which empowers local leaders and communities through collaborative, data-driven technology planning. To date, the Connected Engagement Program has helped more than 650 communities across the country build comprehensive Technology Action Plans. 

The broadband survey provides a clear picture of the internet landscape across the county. Among other key data points, the survey found the following: 

  • 98.4% of Clay County households meet the current FCC definition of broadband (25 Mbps download speed / 3 Mbps upload speed) 
  • 79.2% of Clay County residents have access to 100 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed
  • 1.6% or roughly 66 households are unserved by the minimum speed of broadband 

“Our findings show that Clay County is well positioned to bridge the Digital Divide,” said Connected Nation Broadband Solutions Manager, Catherine Krantz.

“High speed internet access is critical to rural communities because of the many aspects of life that now depend on it,” said Capt. Larry Evans, Clay County Sheriff’s Office. “Those would include, but not exclusive to, agricultural applications, medical applications, public safety, educational value, and the growth of business in rural towns. This will provide us the means to expand current opportunities and prepare for the future.”

“The last two years have made educators, agriculturalists, parents, and business leaders more aware of the importance of bandwidth in Clay County,” said Clay County Judge, Mike Campbell. “We have an opportunity to take advantage of the funding available now as plans come to fruition. We sincerely appreciate Connected Nation and The Priddy Foundation for their efforts on our behalf.”

This project was funded by the Priddy Foundation, which supports the welfare, education, health, and growth of residents in North Texas and Southeastern Oklahoma. 

The Technology Action Plan provided to Clay County includes the following recommendations: 

Goal 1: Ensure that Clay County can attract and retain businesses; offer residents better outcomes in health care, education, and public safety; drive innovation in business and agriculture; and is well-positioned for the technology needs of the future. 
Goal 2: Ensure that Clay County residents have the tools they need to improve their workforce readiness, business competitiveness and quality of life, and that Clay County businesses and public entities have the tools they need to improve public communications.
Goal 3: Ensure that the Clay County agricultural community has access to high-speed internet, technology resources, and education to improve efficiency and profitability.
Goal 4: Identify funding opportunities for programs and projects that benefit Clay County using broadband and related technologies. 

To view the full results of the Clay County broadband survey, visit: http://www.connectednation.hatfield.marketing/clay-county-texas.

To learn more about CN Texas, email Harris at jharris@connectednation.hatfield.marketing or visit the CN Texas website at www.connectednation.hatfield.marketing/texas.  

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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is the state-based program of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Its 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 collaborates 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 Priddy Foundation: The mission of the Priddy Foundation is dedicated to the support of programs in human services, education, the arts, and health, which offer significant potential for individual development and community improvement throughout Northern Texas and Southern Oklahoma. More information can be found at: https://priddyfdn.org/

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