Wichita County details plan to increase internet access

The plan stems from the results of a county-wide survey.
The plan stems from the results of a county-wide survey.(MGN)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita County officials have released their plan to increase high-speed internet access across the community.

The plan stems from the results of a county-wide survey done in partnership with Connected Nation Texas. It ran from October 2021 to February 2022 and asked residents, business owners, government leaders, first responders, ranchers, educators and health care officials to answer questions about their internet access and use.

1,141 total residential surveys were collected. CN Nation officials released the following data from the survey:

  • 67.9% of surveyed households in Wichita County report subscribing to fixed internet service
  • 58.5% of employed survey respondents reported that they telework in some capacity; of those, 34% telework daily, and an additional 22% telework several days a week
  • 41.4 % of households and 41.5% of businesses are dissatisfied with their current internet service
  • 89.4% of households reported they would like to have improved or additional home internet options

“Broadband is essential to every aspect of life in Wichita County, including education, business development, and quality health care. It’s important for our residents and businesses to have access to affordable and reliable internet,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said. “Partnering with Connected Nation Texas allowed us to better understand how folks are using the internet and what issues need to be addressed. We can better connect our community with the data collected.”

The Technology Action Plan lists the following goals:

  1. Establish broadband leadership in Wichita County as a tool for economic advancement and community development.
  2. Increase broadband speeds across Wichita County to accommodate modern applications, such as digital streaming, online gaming, and teleworking.
  3. Curate local workforce development and digital literacy curriculum to expand economic opportunities among military spouses and Wichita County employees.
  4. Pursue regional planning opportunities with other forward-thinking and broadband-inclusive communities.
  5. Increase broadband adoption and usage among Wichita County residents by providing and promoting low- and reduced-cost internet plans and subsidy programs.
  6. Identify opportunities for economic advancement in Wichita County using broadband and related technologies.

The full results of the Wichita County broadband survey can be found here. The project was funded by the Priddy Foundation.

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