Clay County officials work with nonprofit to improve broadband availability

Local News

CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Clay County is beginning an initiative to bring more high-speed internet to the county.

Broadband fiber lines were in the process of being built, but a lack of fiber has halted that process. As they wait for that process, county officials say this will give them more understanding of where internet is needed in Clay County and how to implement it.

Modern technology has made the world in 2021, mostly online. And lots of rural counties like Clay County have some catching up to do to get to modern times.

“Well, we learned tonight that apparently getting fiber’s a problem. I know that we got several companies that wanna install fiber but they can’t get it to install it so that’s kind of held things up for us,” Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said.

The pandemic exposed the fact that many homes in rural counties don’t have access to high-speed internet. That’s why nonprofit Connected Nation has teamed up with several counties in Texoma to conduct a study of the area and determine how best to bring broadband.

“One of the biggest things is working with communities all across the state, primarily rural communities, to understand both their supply side and demand side of broadband and to help them build local community technology action plans,” Connected Nation Texas state program director Jennifer Harris said.

The current plan for Clay County is to gather data from a countywide survey until November, analyze the data to develop a plan and then present that plan to the county.

While the assessment may not solve all of the broadband problems, it will give Clay County the tools to go find better options.

“On tops of hills and in some areas, they have good internet and good connectivity but not everybody does. And that’s what we’ll find out is who really has good connectivity and who doesn’t. Because until we find out who doesn’t have it, we won’t be able to get into those areas,” Campbell said.

Working to bring broadband to rural areas and improve the quality of living in Clay County. Connected Nation plans to give Clay County its action plan in February.

To take the assessment survey click here. For more information on Connected Nation click here.

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