Fort Bend County Judge KP George held a March 8 news conference to announce the launch of the public challenge initiative to encourage Fort Bend County residents to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s national broadband map.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George held a March 8 news conference to announce the launch of the public challenge initiative to encourage Fort Bend County residents to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s national broadband map. Data collected from the FCC’s national broadband map public challenge will be used to determine eligibility for funding for future broadband expansion.
Currently, the unserved and underserved areas of Fort Bend County include Fulshear, Simonton, Arcola, Fresno, Thompsons, Needville and Siena. Roughly, 61,000 households have been identified as not having adequate Internet services.
“Fort Bend County is ranked as the second richest county in the state of Texas, the most educated, most graduate degrees… We are one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, however with all those good things, broadband is still a challenge,” George said. “I urge our residents to complete the public challenge. This is about ensuring that all of Fort Bend County, no matter what zip code, can thrive.”
A key component to the potential future investment in broadband connectivity in the county is to apply for funding through the broadband equity, access, and deployment (BEA D) program, established by the infrastructure investment and jobs action act (I IJ A), which allocated 42.45 billion towards expanding high-speed Internet across the United States.
Joined by Stafford Municipal School District superintendent Robert Bostic, George emphasized the need to provide students with reliable internet access to support remote learning, allow educators to prepare lessons using internet and digital technology and broaden the scope of current knowledge for students.
Fort Bend County's director of information technology Robyn Doughtie echoed George’s message for the public to participate in the public challenge so the county can be evaluated and address the infrastructure needs.
Residents can participate in the public challenge by going to the county’s website at fbctx.gov and clicking the image that will take them to the Let’s Connect Texas B broadband map to evaluate their accessibility.