Rusk County set to upgrade infrastructure with fiber broadband

“Everybody needs broadband; it’s not just an urban issue,” said an Eastex Telephone Cooperative representative.
Published: Feb. 11, 2023 at 3:29 PM CST
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RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - From repaving roads and water system upgrades, to bridge and transit projects, and of course broadband, federal money is available to build and repair infrastructure, and some of it will be coming to East Texas.

Infrastructure: it’s become the buzz word for all levels of government and business, improving or expanding a provided service.

Case in point, Rusk County Electric Cooperative considers improving local infrastructure to be essential.

“Building out for new consumers or adding lines or upgrading lines for reliability. Electricity in our everyday lives has become critical,” said CEO Rhett Reed.

This includes things like mobile sub-stations.

“You have to upgrade those lines, and it may change where you were focused and what lines you’re upgrading,” Reed said.

Rusk Electric uses government loans to upgrade, but in 2021 President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that will provide billions to states and local governments. It allocates nearly $40 billion to Texas.

“Everybody needs broadband; it’s not just an urban issue,” said Wes Robinson of Eastex Telephone Cooperative in Rusk County. “People were using that to teach their kids and go to the doctor’s office, learn smart farming techniques.”

Once funding is made available, Eastex will be laying the fiber for broadband.

“Every year, we need faster and faster broadband service to do the things we’re trying to do on the internet,” Robinson said. “Lately, that has been a lot of fiber investment. We want to see 100 percent fiber to the home.”

In an internet world, infrastructure is a must.

“Reliability, safety and keeping rates as low as possible,” Reed said.

Eastex Telephone Cooperative serves 11 East Texas counties.

Serving 11 East Texas counties, Eastex Telephone Cooperative, once funding is made available, will be laying the fiber for broadband.