Wichita County’s tech plan to boost internet speeds

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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) — The internet is something easy to take for granted. You don’t think about it until there’s a problem, and for a lot of people in this field, there definitely is a problem.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said he understands how important it is to have good internet service these days and that an upgrade is a must for areas of Wichita County.

“I have family here in Wichita Falls with four kids who are broadcasting something at the same time plus the living room and it feels like I could never do that back home,” said News Channel 6 producer Nick Davis. .

Davis is one of many struggling with slow internet simply because he lives in Electra.

“It’s a challenge out there, sometimes just trying to download big files, stream shows or even work from home can be a challenge, just staying connected,” Davis said.

In today’s world, internet speed means more than just being able to watch videos in HD. It can impact your livelihood, as Davis discovered during the pandemic.

“So at that time, as a stay-at-home parent, I was trying to focus on what I could do online, remotely, what can I do? Everywhere I applied, I got the same answer: “your internet speed just isn’t good enough,” Davis said.

That’s why Wichita County has partnered with Connected Nation Texas to develop a technology action plan so people in more rural areas can enjoy the same high-speed internet as their peers.

“What’s being broadcast and saying is a minimum acceptable speed really isn’t in today’s technology,” Gossom said.

Davis said it wasn’t his supplier’s fault. They have done everything to increase speeds with the power of broadband they have from the county.

“They’re at my house today, right now, making improvements to try to improve our situation,” Davis said. “So it’s not them, it’s where we are.”

In addition to improving internet speed in every home, Gossom said it will also help first responders.

“Part of our hope is to support the plan to upgrade communications between law enforcement and fire departments throughout the county,” Gossom said.

He also acknowledged how competitive games like esports are growing and that the county should support those who pursue this path by providing better game speeds.

“Gaming, people of my generation say big, but no, gambling is big business and entertainment,” Gossom said. “It’s a reality, so us elders have to get used to it. I could enjoy it when I retire.

“I like to play on my weekends,” Davis said. “I can’t do online games right now, so I’m really excited to get these increased internet speeds. I have a little boy and he’ll be able to watch Netflix in a few years, so when we get to that point, we will mostly want better internet speeds.

This is an ongoing process with a long timeline ahead. Gossom said he doesn’t know when the plan will be implemented, but he hopes it will be operational for the county by next summer.

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