It’s Not Just Rural Places That Need More Broadband

A county-by-county survey about broadband access across the country finds that urban as well as more remote areas of Texas would benefit from faster, more reliable internet connections.

By Shelly BrisbinMay 13, 2021 10:56 am,

Bringing better broadband to more Americans is a goal shared by politicians as diverse as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and President Biden. And proposals to encourage, and even fund, projects in rural areas have become more urgent during the pandemic.

But how widespread is the problem, and where should policymakers be focusing their attention? A new county-by-county analysis of broadband adoption and availability in the United States shows that many parts of Texas could benefit from broadband infrastructure projects.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga told Texas Standard that many remote parts of West Texas have low levels of broadband access, but so do some counties in Central Texas near Austin, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.

Highlights from this segment:

– State and federal lawmakers have passed legislation or proposed projects aimed at expanding broadband.

– Internet download speeds of 25 Mbps are now considered the minimum necessary for most users to work and play effectively online.

– Though many broadband initiatives focus on providing physical connections to remote areas, many don’t address how residents and businesses would connect to and pay for those services.

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