On Wednesday, with the assistance of Connected Texas and the Public Utility Commission, I released a new and unprecedented map that clearly identifies which parts of Texas still do not have access to broadband services. This interactive map should prove to be a useful tool in determining coverage availability, providers and pricing, in much the same way the power-to-choose site helps consumers in selecting their electrical service provider.
The map, which includes data from 123 broadband providers, indicates that approximately 96 percent of Texas households have access to home broadband service; however, a quarter of a million households in the Lone Star State — more than all of the households in Vermont — lack access to this critical broadband service. In terms of landmass, 45 percent of the state is not covered by home broadband service.
Not having access to broadband services in the 21st century poses a challenge for rural communities in Texas that we know are losing educational, medical and economic development opportunities and services due to a lack of high-speed Internet. By pinpointing the unserved areas, public and private industry projects can be developed that will lead to connecting all of Texas.
I'd like to encourage all Texans to view the map and assist us with validating the collected information. Visit www.connectedtx.org to participate. Together, we can make sure no Texan is left behind on the information superhighway.