By Chris Edwards
TYLER COUNTY – A survey is available online to gauge the broadband internet needs of Tyler County residents. The survey, which launched in early February, is being put forth by the Connected Nation Texas, a localized division of a national non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to broadband.
The survey launched in early February, but the response has been hamstrung by the recent winter storm, and the loss of utilities for many.
“We understand that everyone across Tyler County should have access to the resources they need and can find online for themselves, their families, their work and more,” said Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette.
“Basically, what we’re trying to do as Connected Nation Texas is to understand broadband availability needs in Tyler County,” Waggoner said. “The better info we have, the better the information we can provide to provide solutions for the county.”
Blanchette said that local residents’ input, along with that of businesses, community organizations and other demographics within the county, will help to identify challenges and provide solutions to bringing broadband access to the county.
“The better educated Tyler County officials are, the better the opportunities are for grants. The monies are only available for a certain amount of time, and if they know [the county] can use the resource efficiently, it has a better chance of being funded,” Waggoner said.
Tyler County is one of 27 counties asked to participate in a statewide effort led by Connected Nation Texas and funded by the Texas Rural Funders at no cost to the county.
“Having access to the internet means having access to doctors and specialists through telehealth, a global market for our small businesses, educational opportunities for our children and so much more,” Blanchette said.