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Posted on Jul 12, 2021 in Audio, Editorial, Featured, Your Texas Agriculture Minute




New broadband map shows rural Texas not up to speed

By Gary Joiner

If Congress soon provides funding to improve broadband access in rural America, where should the money be spent?

A new digital map from the U.S. Commerce Department is pointing the way.

The public map taps into data aggregated at the county, census tract and census block level from several sources.

It’s easy to use. Areas needing attention turn bright red in color, based on the criteria selected.

No surprise, many parts of rural Texas have connection speeds below the current benchmark for fixed broadband service. That speed is 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.

Farmers, ranchers and others who live in rural communities struggle everyday with poor connection speeds. It slows down important work at the farm and ranch, impacts school work and hampers the ability to download and share important documents.

The new map should help officials pinpoint priority areas of need. It’s one thing to hear from residents about poor connectivity. Now, we all get to see it.

The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.

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