It has been announced that officials will be seeking input from the community about proposed broadband not only in the cities, but throughout Wharton County. 

The announcement by the Wharton County Broadband Committee was made this week. Surveys conducted by Connected Nation Texas’ community broadband assessment was launched this month. According to Connected Nation, you can choose to take the survey now by going online.

To take the survey as a resident, a business owner or designated representative of another organization, visit the following website: www.myconnectedcommunity.org/wharton-county/ and select the appropriate option.  

“Results from this work will be shared with the public later this fall, followed by additional work to develop a county-wide action plan to address identified areas of need,” Connected Nation said in a press release.

Officials from entities such as the Wharton Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, the Wharton Civic Center, and the Wharton Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) have urged residents and business owners to participate in this important endeavor.

WEDC Board of Directors were told about a broadband pilot program that was being introduced in Wharton. A representative, Josh Owens, from the Houston Galveston Area Council and Gulf Coast Economic Development District spoke on the matter in July 2019.

“The world is moving in this direction in terms of a network system and having all of your locations and keeping contact in constant high speed is vital,” Owens said to the board.

Connected Nation Texas said a committee that was formed is comprised of local community leaders from various sectors with a common mission of enhancing and expanding broadband access, adoption and use throughout the county for the benefit of residents and businesses.  

To that end, the Committee has partnered with Connected Nation Texas and their “Connected Community” program to assess the present state of broadband in Wharton County and establish a broadband planning process and plan to address our current and future broadband needs.

“To perform an assessment of Wharton County’s current broadband environment, the committee will be conducting surveys of residents, businesses and other organizations across the county,” Connected Nation said. “Responses to these surveys will help us better understand the existing resources and capabilities we now have to support our access, adoption and use of broadband technology in our homes and businesses.”

After a structured evaluation of this assessment, Connected Nation Texas – through the WC Broadband Committee – will then develop appropriate action plans and projects to improve our broadband environment most effectively.

“Your participation in the appropriate broadband survey and overall support of our efforts are very important in developing an accurate assessment of broadband availability and related needs in Wharton County,” Connected Nation said. 

According to the HGAC, in 2019 there were 50 to 69 percent of households in Wharton County that had broadband.

WEDC Executive Director Chad Odem said this is an ongoing effort of resources that the HGAC has brought to Wharton County and that officials here have taken advantage of.

He said there is a demand for high speed internet in our communities and leaders are working toward making gains in broadband. He said the survey is a critical step in making it come to fruition. 

“This will help us to attract the investment we need in our community, and to build a better infrastructure throughout our area,” Odem said. “We’ll start with the Wharton (area) and then El Campo.”

Participants are urged to share survey information with their peers and encourage others to take the survey.  

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