New State Broadband Office Begins Work on State Broadband Plan
Texas Comptroller, Glenn Hegar, recently announced the kickoff of the newly created Broadband Development Office (BDO). The BDO, created by House Bill 5 and supported by TTA, will award grants, low-interest loans and other financial incentives to Internet service providers who expand access to broadband service in underserved areas. Hegar will serve as chairman of a 10-member board of advisors that will guide the new office.
TTA staff met with the Comptroller’s Broadband Office staff last week. The productive discussion included a schedule for upcoming briefings for the office and the drafting of the state broadband plan — TTA has offered the expertise of our TTA mapping team to assist the Office going forward.
Funding for the Broadband office will come mainly from Federal budget bills recently passed and currently under consideration. Legislation considered in the September 20 Special session may direct some of this money.
The Broadband Office now has statutory authority for compiling data on broadband speeds and the areas of our state they are underserved by broadband providers. No third-party solicitations of data on broadband speeds will be considered in the formulation of this official map, and thus responses to third-party inquiries for data on TTA member companies’ service territories and speeds are no longer necessary. TTA looks forward to working with the new Office as they develop and implement rules for broadband development.
It is the goal of TTA to build stronger relationships and have open communication between all its members. Your story is real. Your story is important. Your story makes a difference. Our goal is to hear and share your story with folks in Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.TTA Board of Directors