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Marion County judge has plan to bring broadband to rural residents

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Published: May. 12, 2022 at 3:25 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 6:18 PM CDT
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MARION COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Broadband expansion efforts are underway to increase access for one East Texas county that’s in dire need of it.

Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur has a plan to bring his county into the internet 21st century.

“So right now Marion county is working strategically with Harrison County and Gregg County. We have all started a broadband project. We’re taking broadband all the way to the Louisiana state line. I have a conversation with somebody about broadband just about every day I’m at work,” the judge says.

A problem for counties like Marion, which is at only 43-percent accessibility, is getting broadband access. Which the judge looks to the state legislature for action.

“This thing only needs to be funded and we can start work on it almost immediately,” LaFleur says.

And LaFleur knows access means business and growth.

“I’ve been in contact with some businesses over the state line that would love to move into Texas. Get away from Louisiana state tax,” he says.

He hopes district representatives can speed up the process.

“It’s become the issue of the day. Internet accessibility today is no different than running water. It’s a must in order for people to survive. Especially in rural communities,” LaFleur says.

Marion, Harrison and Gregg counties fall into house district seven on January first, with Jay Dean as their district representative.

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