Gov. Greg Abbott's Broadband Development Council recently released its 2021 report to the Texas Legislature. The council issued 10 recommendations, including:
- Plan for and invest in speeds greater than the FCC minimums.
- Define "underserved."
- Study broadband demand at community, regional and statewide levels.
- Fund cybersecurity awareness and internet safety awareness campaigns.
- Allocate a portion of the state’s ARPA allotment, Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund dollars, and upcoming federal broadband infrastructure and digital equity dollars toward meaningful broadband projects, including public-private partnerships, middle mile and last mile investments, digital literacy training programs, and cybersecurity awareness.
Counties continue to closely monitor this issue as the lack of connectivity in rural Texas created barriers for accessing telepsychiatry and telemedicine. The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the lack of access to online learning for rural schools and economically disadvantaged urban communities.
Floyd County Judge Marty Lucke serves on the council; his term expires on Aug. 31, 2024.
For more information about this article or the report, please contact Rick Thompson.