Rusk County one step closer to broadband plan

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Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
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HENDERSON, Texas (KLTV) - Rusk County is working on adding high-speed internet services to areas of the county that need it most.

On Tuesday, the Rusk County Local Broadband Project Team approved the next step of the broadband plan.

“We’re really at first-and-goal on finishing the local identified projects process,” East Texas Council of Governments executive director David Cleveland said.

The plan includes installing broadband for six business and residential areas where the community said it needs high-speed internet the most. Cleveland said the areas are not the only places broadband is needed but a step in the right direction.

“The whole society suffers today because this is not only an economic development issue, it’s an education issue because you’re doing distance learning, it’s a healthcare issue,” Cleveland said. “Broadband today touches every area of our life, so we got to get with it.”

Cleveland said the county has been working on this project since December. With Tuesday’s plan approval, East Texas Council of Governments will bring it to a contractor for budgeting. The goal is to then bring it to the commissioners court by the end of August.

If the court approves the plan, Cleveland said the council will “go after implementation funding from federal, state and other sources to make the projects happen.”

Rusk County Judge Joel Hale said the plan will help economic development.

“Everybody in the community will be excited to see this happen. We look forward to the things it can do for us as a community,” Hale said.

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