2020 Texas Report: Governor's Broadband Development Council
There are many challenges to broadband connectivity in rural and unserved areas of Texas, and currently Texas is one of six states that does not have a statewide broadband plan. In studying the progress of broadband development in unserved areas, the Council found that over 300,000 locations in Texas are unserved. As of July 2020, an estimated 926,859 Texans do not have access to broadband at home. The Council found that Texas’ rural population represents approximately 90 percent of all Texans without broadband access. The Council also studied barriers to broadband development in Texas. Some of the main barriers identified include regulatory, economic, and technical factors, such as population density and geography, infrastructure investment, profitability, and “backhaul” costs. Other barriers include a low rate of broadband adoption, lack of collaboration between stakeholders, and insufficient statewide coordination.
The Governor's Broadband Development Council has researched the progress of broadband development in unserved areas; identified barriers to residential and commercial broadband deployment in unserved areas; studied technology-neutral solutions to overcome barriers; and analyzed how statewide access to broadband would benefit economic development, higher education and public education, state and local law enforcement, state emergency preparedness, and health care services. Resulting from this research, the Council recommends that the Texas Legislature take the following action:
- Create a state broadband plan; and
- Establish a state broadband office.
The Council also believes that the following action could benefit the broadband landscape in Texas and therefore recommends its continued study:
- Develop a state broadband funding program to incentivize deployment in unserved areas.
2020 Texas Report: Governor's Broadband Development Council Governor’s Broadband Development Council Issues First Report To Texas Legislature