Thursday, June 11, 2009

USA Today Article Highlights TDA's Effort to Increase Broadband Access in Rural Texas

A recent article in USA Today focused on broadband access to rural Texas. According to the information provided, “Currently, about 57% of urban households and 60% of suburban households subscribe to broadband. In rural areas, only 38% do, according to a report by the Communications Workers of America.”

You can see why we at the Texas Department of Agriculture have begun teaming with stakeholders and service providers to maximize federal stimulus funds for Texas. We recently partnered with the Public Utility Commission and are currently seeking proposals from telecommunications companies to map the state of Texas for broadband availability, which will help provide service to those areas lacking high-speed Internet connectivity.

Farm-to-Market is more than the name of a road. It is the lifeline that enables our state’s farmers and ranchers to provide us with the food, feed, fuel and fiber that is the cornerstone of our economy. They need access to the latest technology to move their quality goods to willing buyers and to compete in the global market.

It is essential our families, rural schools, hospitals and small businesses have fast access to the information superhighway if we are going to maintain a competitive advantage in Texas.

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