Our League identified access to affordable high-speed broadband internet as a priority issue for Lavaca County, and began a "study" to learn more about needs, current access, and possible solutions that will expand access to more Lavaca County residents. We are sharing information from this study on this page.
Learn about Rural Broadband
What is broadband?
Connected Nation created this helpful infographic to help us understand what is meant by broadband:
Learn about Rural Broadband
Lavaca County's Broadband Now
Creating accurate broadband maps is one of the first steps to promoting access, adoption, and use of broadband across the state. The Connected Nation Texas mapping initiative is working closely with broadband providers across the state to develop a variety of broadband inventory maps.
Connected Nation Texas created these maps to highlight where broadband is and is not available in the state by various speeds and technologies. Connected Nation Texas will continue to update and refine these maps as more data to most accurately reflect the current broadband landscape.
The broadband maps and statistics were initially published in January 2020 and were updated on July 31 following public feedback, field validation, and provider input.
Check here for maps showing broadband availability across Texas
Check here for maps that show broadband availability in Lavaca County
Broadband is a Lifeline: The Importance of Broadband for Texas' Rural Communities
Rural Texas struggled with broadband access long before the pandemic. Charlie Cano, CEO of Etex Telephone Cooperative; Annette Gutierrez, executive director of the Rio Grande Council of Governments; and Jennifer Harris, Texas state director for Connected Nation, spoke with Chris Cobler, former editor and publisher of the Victoria Advocate, about how to best close the digital divide in rural communities.
As technology evolves and education, medicine and businesses pivot to virtual, they discussed a need for aggressive broadband-centric investments and a support mechanism to maintain and update high-speed internet.
Harris, who was appointed to the governor’s broadband council in 2019, said there’s a significant overstatement of broadband coverage in federal data. Rodriguez, Cano and Harris agreed every community is different and said a meaningful planning process needs to involve participation from internet providers. As communities become more dependent on broadband, Harris said, “There really is no finish line — it’s just to continue tackling the problem, and not even seeing it as a problem, but as a challenge to keep working toward to become better connected as we move toward the future of technology.”
This session is presented by Texas Rural Funders and supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, TEXAS 2036, TORCH - Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute / The Hackett Center and the Texas Rural Health Association.