Houston-Galveston Area Council and Gulf Coast Economic Development District Invite Input Regarding Broadband Services

By: Andrew Yousee
| Published 12/04/2023


CONROE, TX -- Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) and the Gulf Coast Economic Development District have initiated a study to develop actionable plans to improve broadband access in their 13 member counties. Through a survey, stakeholder meetings, and work sessions, the study will determine challenges with broadband access and adoption. The data gathered in the study will provide a clearer understanding of broadband needs and allow for the development of action plans to capture funding through available grants to improve broadband. This online survey is now available to gather specific information from residents and businesses. It will be available through December 15, 2023 and can be accessed at: https://www.h-gac.com/broadband.

The recent infrastructure bill has allocated $42 billion to broadband infrastructure, and Texas is slated to receive $3.3 billion of this total in 2024 through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. Leaders in the region understand that broadband is a critical service for businesses, organizations, and citizens. This survey will allow leadership in the region to clearly understand the required steps to gain and maintain a competitive advantage in terms of broadband and to make sure that the communities’ needs are met. The initial phase of the study includes gathering input from area residents, businesses, and key stakeholders to compare against industry data.

“We want to take the steps to make sure our citizens and businesses have the connectivity they need to thrive in Southeast Texas. We also view broadband as a competitive issue in maintaining our area’s communities as top destinations to live and work,” said Harry Hardman, City of Conroe Councilman, Place 3. “To do that, we must begin with a solid understanding of the connectivity we currently have and the challenges our citizens and businesses currently experience due to connectivity. This will help us determine our next steps and qualify for funding.”

“We will be gathering input through mid-December of this year,” said Andrew Yousse, City of Conroe Public Information Officer. “We’d like every resident and business to complete the survey, so we have a clear picture of the needs and gaps in service. Our project consultant, HR Green, will also be interviewing key stakeholders, including government representatives and leaders from various industries during that time to gather additional information.”

The survey and analysis will be completed in Spring 2024. H-GAC has contracted with HR Green, a national engineering firm with offices in Texas, to complete this initial discovery phase.

Public access to the survey is now open and will remain so until December 15, 2023. Citizens and businesses are encouraged to:

Fill out the survey online: https://www.h-gac.com/broadband