CAPCOG helps expand broadband in Blanco, Burnet, Llano
Connected Nation—Texas, a division of a national nonprofit that assists communities with developing strategies for increasing access, adoption, and use of broadband, has targeted three counties in the CAPCOG region — Blanco, Burnet and Llano — as part of a statewide initiative. The effort could enhance residents’ quality of life, education and public safety, increase economic development, and improve business and personal communications. CAPCOG recruited Connected Nation to work with these counties and helped facilitate a community meeting that began the first phase of the project, which involves surveying the community to assess needs.
“Broadband has become a critical part of a community’s ability to plug into the regional, national, and global economy, and access information and services that are important to one’s quality of life,” said Andrew Hoekzema, CAPCOG Regional Planning and Services director. The Federal Communications Commission defines broadband as download and upload speeds of at least 25 and 3 mbps. Reliable access to the Internet at these speeds can be critical to businesses, particularly the high-tech sector; tele-medicine; education; and other types of organizations. While there are parts of Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties with broadband Internet access, many areas of these counties lack access; this effort should help expand access to those areas.
Once the community survey and needs assessment is complete, Connected Nation will develop a Technology Action Plan to help guide the three counties’ efforts to meet broadband needs moving forward. “Action plans such as this are very dependent on public participation,” Hoekzema said. “Hearing from as many people as possible who play many different community roles provides more useful and actionable information on strategies to pursue the expansion of broadband access.”
People and organizations in the counties can take the surveys at myconnectedcommunity.org/blanco-county/, myconnectedcommunity.org/burnet-county/, and myconnectedcommunity.org/llano-county/.
Read more about the CAPCOG Regional Planning and Services Division.