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By Don Thompson
KNOX COUNTY-The Knox County Broadband Committee is developing a Technology Action Plan for the county based on community feedback from residents, businesses, healthcare organizations, schools, and more. The Broadband Committee is made up of local stakeholders and works closely with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas).
A public meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Knox City Community Center, 208 SE 3rdStreet. The Knox County Broadband Team and CN Texas invite all to attend to learn about improving broadband access, adoption, and use.
“Reliable broadband access is essential to a community and has become just as important as running water. Our residents, businesses, and schools can only thrive if they have the tools to do so,” said Knox County Judge Stan Wojcik. “We are excited to get to work on expanding broadband in Knox County and look forward to working with Connected Nation to accomplish this.”
The Priddy Foundation of Wichita Falls is funding the initiative.Their mission is to support programs in human services, education, the arts, and health. The project will have no cost to the county.
The goal of the assessment is to identify challenges and opportunities for expanding high-speed internet in Knox County
so that every family, business, and community organization can access the critical resources needed to be connected. “With the need for telehealth rising and a large majority of our population looking for ways to access the most up-to-date healthcare, it is necessary to have reliable broadband,” said Stephen Kuehler,
CEO of Knox County Hospital District. “Every resident and business in Knox County will benefit from increased access to broadband and taking the survey will help develop a plan to do so.”“We have learned throughout the last year that adequate high-speed internet is crucial for students and teachers to succeed,” said Colin Howeth, Superintendent of Knox City -O’Brien CISD. “Many students fell behind due to lack of access.
This project with Connected Nation helps to ensure that no student is left disconnected.” The Technology Action Plan will be shaped by the information provided by local stakeholders. For that reason, it’s important to include as much information as possible so that no area is left out of this plan. “Whether it’s banking from a laptop or a mobile app, there’s no denying the financial sector has changed as technology changes. In fact, business in general is conducted differently due to new online resources and platforms,” said Lyndle Reeves, Area President First Bank of Texas. “Broadband offers new opportunities to improve quality of life through technology.
The community surveys will assess how frequently residents are interacting with businesses in Knox County, which platforms they use, and how local institutions are keeping up.”
The Knox County Broadband Committee is asking residents and organizations to take 10 minutes and fill out this short survey: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/knox-county/. Choose the survey category or categories that represent you or your organization.