Knox County Texas launches broadband project

Input needed for countywide plan to improve internet access and speed in Knox County.

 

  • Connected Nation

 

Knox County, Texas--The Knox County Broadband Committee is developing a Technology Action Plan for the county based on community feedback from residents, businesses, healthcare organizations, schools, and more. The Broadband Committee is made up of local stakeholders and works closely with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas).

“Reliable broadband access is essential to a community and has become just as important as running water. Our residents, businesses, and schools can only thrive if they have the tools to do so,” said Knox County Judge, Stan Wojcik. “We are excited to get to work on expanding broadband in Knox County and look forward to working with Connected Nation to accomplish this.”  

The project marks the first of seven community engagements in the region to begin work on expanding broadband access, adoption, and use. The Priddy Foundation of Wichita Falls is funding the initative. Their mission is to support programs in human services, education, the arts, and health which offer significant potential for individual development and community improvement.

The goal of the assessment is to identify unique challenges and opportunities for expanding high-speed internet in Knox County so that every family, business, and community organization can access the critical resources needed to be connected.

“With the need for telehealth rising and a large majority of our population looking for ways to access the most up-to-date healthcare, it is necessary to have reliable broadband,” said Stephen Kuehler, CEO of Knox County Hospital District. “Every resident and business in Knox County will benefit from increased access to broadband and taking the survey will help develop an actionable plan to do so.”

Knox County will work alongside CN Texas to help close the Digital Divide within the community. The project will have no cost to the county.

“We have learned throughout the last year that adequate high-speed internet is crucial for students and teachers to succeed,” said Colin Howeth, Superintendent of Knox City - O’Brien CISD. “Many students fell behind due to lack of access. This project with Connected Nation helps to ensure that no student is left disconnected.”

The Technology Action Plan will be developed by leveraging Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program and will be shaped by the information provided by local stakeholders. For that reason, it’s important to include as much information as possible so that no area is left out of this plan.

“Whether its banking from a laptop or a mobile app, there’s no denying the financial sector has changed as technology changes. In fact, business in general is conducted differently due to new online resources and platforms,” said Lyndle Reeves, Area President First Bank of Texas. “Broadband offers new opportunities  to improve quality of life through technology. The community surveys will assess how frequently residents are interacting with businesses in Knox County, which platforms they use, and how local institutions are keeping up.”

The Connected Program has been used in nearly 650 communities across the country to develop county or regional Technology Action Plans that have both short term and long-term broadband solutions.

The Knox County Broadband Committee is asking residents and organizations to take 10 minutes and fill out this short survey: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/knox-county/.

 

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