Wichita County releases Technology Action Plan designed to increase digital literacy and broadband adoption

Wichita County, Texas (June 6, 2022) — Wichita County, in partnership with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas), has released the results of a comprehensive broadband survey and Technology Action Plan designed to increase high-speed internet access across the community. This project was generously funded by the Priddy Foundation, headquartered in Wichita Falls, which supports the welfare, education, health, and growth of residents in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.

Sierra Sees, Broadband Solutions Manager for Connected Nation Texas is pictured with Wichita County Judge, Woody Gossom

From October 2021 to February 2022, residents, business owners, government leaders, first responders, ranchers, educators, and health care officials provided their feedback in an online survey as part of the Connected Community Engagement Program, which empowers local leaders and communities through collaborative, data-driven technology planning. In total, 1,141 residential surveys were collected. The results of the engagement have highlighted Wichita County’s local connectivity needs and informed a comprehensive community action plan. To date, the Connected 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:

  • 67.9% of surveyed households in Wichita County report subscribing to fixed internet service
  • 58.5% of employed survey respondents reported that they telework in some capacity; of those, 34% telework daily, and an additional 22% telework several days a week
  • 41.4 % of households and 41.5% of businesses are dissatisfied with their current internet service
  • 89.4% of households reported they would like to have improved or additional home internet options

“Broadband is essential to every aspect of life in Wichita County, including education, business development, and quality health care. It’s important for our residents and businesses to have access to affordable and reliable internet,” said Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom. “Partnering with Connected Nation Texas allowed us to better understand how folks are using the internet and what issues need to be addressed. We can better connect our community with the data collected.”

Based on the survey findings, the Technology Action Plan makes the following recommendations:

Goal 1: Establish broadband leadership in Wichita County as a tool for economic advancement and community development.

Goal 2:
Increase broadband speeds across Wichita County to accommodate modern applications, such as digital streaming, online gaming, and teleworking.

Goal 3:
Curate local workforce development and digital literacy curriculum to expand economic opportunities among military spouses and Wichita County employees.

Goal 4:
Pursue regional planning opportunities with other forward-thinking and broadband-inclusive communities. 

Goal 5:
Increase broadband adoption and usage among Wichita County residents by providing and promoting low- and reduced-cost internet plans and subsidy programs.  

Goal 6:
Identify opportunities for economic advancement in Wichita County using broadband and related technologies.

To view the full results of the Wichita County broadband survey, visit:

https://connectednation.hatfield.marketing/wichita-county-texas

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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is the statewide subsidiary 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 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 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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