Cameron County selects VTX1 as its private sector broadband partner

dfwnewsa | December 21, 2023 | 0 | Technology , Technology News

Cameron County selects VTX1 as its private sector broadband partner

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Cameron county commissioners have chosen VTX-1 Internet as their main partner to bridge the county’s digital divide. 

VTX1, based in Raymondville, beat off competition from AT&T, Charter Communications, and SmartCom to win the “County-Wide Broadband Expansion Project” contract. The request for proposals number was RFP No. 230102.

Sponsored

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., said the public private partnership with VTX-1 is a positive first step toward the goal of making affordable broadband services available to every resident in Cameron County.

“Expanding broadband connectivity in our area has been a top priority of the Commissioners Court,” Treviño said.

“The pandemic shed light on the lack of broadband connectivity in our area and the disadvantage this created for our citizens. This partnership with VTX-1 is a positive step toward addressing the digital divide that exists in our area and will insure that our citizens have the necessary broadband connectivity they need for education, working remotely and telemedicine.”

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño.

Patrick McDonnell, CEO of VTX1, said his company is keen to get to work in Cameron County.

“VTX1 Internet is very excited to partner with Cameron County and its forward thinking leaders on how best to solve the digital divide locally. Local government working with a local company demonstrates how groups with common values can come together to great things done,” McDonnell told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service.

“The real winners are the residents of Cameron County because they will be getting access to high-speed broadband without having to use any of the counties’ taxpayer dollars.”

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A press release issued by Cameron County states that the agreement with VTX1 provides professional grant writing services to pursue grant opportunities to help fund broadband expansion estimated at well over $100 million dollars. 

The release says the agreement also provides minimum speeds of 100/50 mbs at a $30.00 per month price point for all new and existing customers. Qualifying low income households will have the opportunity to pursue reimbursement through the Affordable Connectivity Program and receive $30.00 per month to cover the service fee.

“Prior to competing for grant funding, VTX-1 has agreed to fund the installation of reliable, high-speed broadband infrastructure within 120 calendar days to the areas of Bluetown, Lozano, San Pedro and the area south of the causeway on South Padre Island including Isla Blanca Park,” the press release states.

“Additionally, VTX-1 will expand wireless services to several areas within Cameron County to provide connectivity with improved download and upload speeds.”

Sponsored
Patrick McDonnell, CEO of VTX1 Internet.

A VTX1 delegation had to appear before Cameron County commissioners to make their pitch for the contract. So did the other three internet service providers (ISPs). Jeffrey Patterson, VTX1’s vice president of sales and business development, led the delegation.

Patterson told the commissioners that VTX-1 will utilize its own funding and pursue grant opportunities to help cover the cost to expand broadband connectivity and will not require any financial contribution from Cameron County.

“We’re experts at bridging the digital divide,” Patterson said, when he made his pitch. “VTX1 one has been laying fiber for over 20 years. We’ve been bringing internet for decades to the people focused on the rural areas. And this is really right up our alley as far as what we’re comfortable with and what we’re experts at doing.”

Patterson said the team VTX1 has assembled for the Cameron County project would put together the largest possible grant stack available.

“We’re proud to serve the communities with the principles of service, excellence, and value. We’ve got the experience, the capabilities, the resources and skilled staff required in order to provide that turnkey solution that will provide the fast and reliable internet,” Patterson said.

“So, essentially, we’re more than qualified to handle a project of this scope.”

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When the four ISPs made their pitch for the County-Wide Broadband Expansion Project, Cameron County Commissioner David Garza said:

“Our goal is to make the service available to all the people of Cameron County. We want all of the kids to be able to access it and be able to do distance learning. We want to make sure that folks that need telemedicine can get counseled and taken care of at home if they need to be. It’s a critical piece of a utility now. It is not a luxury. As the judge said, it’s a necessity.”

Editor’s Note: Here is an audio recording of the pitch VTX1 made to Cameron County Commissioners Court to secure the County-Wide Broadband Expansion Project:


The post Cameron County selects VTX1 as its private sector broadband partner appeared first on Rio Grande Guardian.

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