According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, broadband services rate as an emergency item, reports the Palestine Herald. Broadband access made the Governor’s short list, along with items such as overhauling the bail system to keep dangerous criminals behind bars, and examining the election process to restore trust and confidence in Texas elections. Emergency items are those identified as crucial, and are meant to be addressed within 60 days of the new legislature being seated.
“As we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the internet is absolutely essential to the citizens of our already thriving state,” State Senator Robert Nichols told the Herald. “Our massive, diverse economy has already propelled Texas as the top state for business over the last 16 years, and bridging the digital divide with expanded access to broadband in rural areas will increase opportunities for high-quality healthcare, educational attainment, and economic development opportunities.”
First elected in 2014, Governor Abbott has used his “State of the State” address to draw attention to selected priority items. An earlier agenda item, for example, led to the state reforming it’s Child Protective Services processes. Including broadband on this year’s list demonstrates how important connectivity is to Texas businesses, schools, and private citizens.
“Now, the Governor has given the Legislature the ‘green-light’ to get working on this critical issue, and I look forward to working with leadership to expand access and encourage adoption of broadband service to all hard-working Texans,” stated Representative Trent Ashby.
Nichols and Ashby have co-sponsored Senate Bill 506 and House Bill 1446. Both measures have language calling for “forming a state broadband office, creating a comprehensive state broadband plan, identifying which areas of the state have the greatest need, and funding projects to increase access and adoption in those areas.”
The post Broadband in Texas: It’s an Emergency Says the Gov appeared first on Inside Towers.