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Maverick County to launch technology plan following broadband engagement


Maverick County is ready to put a Technology Action Plan into place following a broadband engagement convening conducted in partnership with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. Over the course of eight months, members of the Maverick County Broadband Committee, Methodist Healthcare Ministries and CN Texas gathered surveys from residents, businesses, and representatives from multiple industry sectors throughout the county, including agriculture, education, health care, libraries, public safety, and government. Survey responses helped inform a plan aimed at improving broadband adoption, access, and use in Maverick County.


The Maverick County Community Broadband Survey was provided at no cost to Maverick County residents thanks to a $51,000 grant from Methodist Healthcare Ministries. Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries said, “These survey results will help frame the direction the community wants to take moving forward and we’ll be there alongside them on this journey. COVID 19 taught us that digital access is no longer an optional amenity, but rather an essential utility necessary to thrive and survive in today’s world.”

Methodist Healthcare Ministries is a faith-based, nonprofit organization focused on improving the health and wellness of the least served. In Maverick County, Methodist Healthcare Ministries offers free health and wellness services through its Wesley Nurse program, located at the Eagle Pass First United Methodist Church.


As part of the broadband engagement, Maverick County residents, businesses, and community institutions were asked to complete broadband surveys through the Connected Community Engagement Program. The program empowers local leaders and communities through collaborative, data-driven technology planning. To date, Connected Nation has helped more than 650 communities across the country build comprehensive Technology Action Plans.

Between February and June 2022, 643 households in Maverick County responded to the community survey. The survey showed that 55.4% of households in Maverick County reported subscribing to fixed internet service. Cost of service was the top barrier for households that did not subscribe to home internet service. 35.2% of households and 37.5% of businesses reported that they were dissatisfied with their current internet service, with slow speed, cost and the unreliability of connection cited as the top reasons for their dissatisfaction.


The Technology Action Plan provided to Maverick County includes the following recommendations: Goal 1: Improve internet speeds and digital equity in Maverick County through greater education, participation, and planning Goal 2: Ensure that Maverick County residents have access to internet, regardless of income level Goal 3: Bridge digital literacy gaps in Maverick County to improve workforce and higher education readiness and quality of life Goal 4: Ensure that the Maverick County agricultural sector has access to high-speed internet, technology resources, and education to improve efficiency and profitability Goal 5: Improve health care outcomes for Maverick County residents by increasing access to broadband technology

The survey results and the action plan were shared at a community event held on Friday, September 2, 2022, at the City of Eagle Pass International Center for Trade (ICT). The event was hosted by Methodist Healthcare Ministries and included remarks by City of Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ President & CEO, Jaime Wesolowski, and Connected Nation’s Executive Vice President – Development & Planning Chris Pederson, Director of Local & Regional Planning Molly Weiner, and Broadband Solutions Manager Catherine Krantz.


“Maverick County residents, business owners, and community leaders have spoken,” said Judy Canales, Executive Director, Eagle Pass Maverick County Economic Development Alliance. “Our area needs reliable and affordable broadband internet services. The Maverick County broadband survey showed our top challenges are the cost of internet service and the lack of available and reliable broadband service. The Connect Maverick Broadband Council is organizing to follow up with the survey results and recommendations and identify opportunities for investing in broadband internet improvements in Eagle Pass and Maverick County. We invite community members to join this effort.”


To view the full results of the Maverick County broadband survey, visit:

https://connectednation.org/maverick-county-texas/.


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