Cameron County, VTX1, set to kick-off their new broadband partnership

dfwnewsa | February 5, 2024 | 0 | Technology , Technology News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Cameron County and VTX1 Internet will hold a press conference on Monday, February. 5, to kick-off their partnership to bridge the digital divide that exists in the county.

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The press conference takes place in at Cameron County Courthouse, otherwise known as the Dancy Building, at 1100 E. Monroe, Brownsville. It starts at 9:30 a.m.

Raymondville-based VTX1 Internet beat off competition from AT&T, Charter Communications, and Smart Com to win Cameron County’s “County-Wide Broadband Expansion Project” contract.

Cameron County Judge Treviño, Jr. , said the COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the digital divide that exists in Cameron County and the disadvantage that its citizens, students and those seeking medical attention were left to deal with in our area. 

“We know that our community is among the poorest in the entire state and the entire country. And their lack of access to broadband became painfully obvious as a result of the pandemic,” Treviño said.

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Treviño said the new public-private partnership with VTX1 is a positive first step toward the goal of making affordable broadband services available to al citizens in Cameron County.

“Expanding broadband connectivity in our area has been a top priority of the Commissioners Court. The pandemic shed light on the lack of broadband connectivity in our area and the disadvantage this created for our citizens and students,” Treviño said.

“This partnership with VTX-1 is a positive step toward addressing the digital divide that exists in our area and will ensure that our citizens have the necessary broadband connectivity they need for education, working remotely and telemedicine.”

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Treviño said the agreement with VTXl provides professional grant writing services to pursue state and federal grant opportunities to help fund the needed broadband expansion in Cameron County estimated at well over $100 million dollars. 

He said the agreement also secures minimum broadband internet speeds of 100/50 megabits per second (Mbps) at a $30.00 per month price point for all new and existing VTX1 customers. Qualifying low-income households will have the opportunity to pursue reimbursement through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and receive $30.00 per month to cover the service fee, Treviño explained.

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Prior to competing for grant funding, VTX1 has agreed to utilize $10 million dollars of its own funding and assets to install broadband infrastructure, within 120 calendar days, to the areas of Bluetown, Lozano, San Pedro and the area south of the causeway in South Padre Island including Isla Blanca Park. 

Additionally, VTX1 will expand wireless services to several areas within Cameron County to provide connectivity with improved download and upload speeds. These initial projects will provide reliable high-speed internet to each of these areas.

VTX1 will utilize their own funding and assets and pursue grant opportunities to expand broadband connectivity throughout the county and will not require any financial contribution from Cameron County.

When Cameron County Commissioners were considering which entity to partner with out of Charter, AT&T, Smart Com and VTX1, Commissioner David Garza said: “Our goal is to make the service available to all the people of Cameron County,” said Cameron County Commissioner David Garza. 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.”

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The post Cameron County, VTX1, set to kick-off their new broadband partnership appeared first on Rio Grande Guardian.

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