CORYELL COUNTY, TX — During his State of the State address, Governor Greg Abbott announced he is making the expansion of broadband access an emergency item this legislative session.
"From medicine to education to business, broadband access is not a luxury—it is an essential tool that must be available for all Texans," he said.
It’s a service many in rural areas, like Coryell County, say they desperately need.
County Judge Roger Miller says according to the FCC, 75% to 80% of the county has access to high-speed broadband internet. However, the county judge says it is primarily focused in one area.
“If you look geographically, just about the opposite is true. Eighty percent of our area is not served by high-speed broadband Internet,” he said.
Judge Miller says a growing number of folks, both young and old, need access to the internet to work from home, have online doctor visits or participate in remote learning.
The Technology Lending Program, created by the TEA, gave Copperas Cove ISD money to purchase 144 hotspots to help with remote learning.
“Two of the three of our smaller school districts don’t have access to broadband. All three of them have students that live in geographic areas that don’t have internet at all,” said Judge Miller.