McDonnell: Providing access to high-speed internet becomes the great enabler and equalizerdfwnewsa | February 8, 2024 | 0 | Technology , Technology News
Reducing the digital divide in Cameron County and the Rio Grande Valley will provide many positive impacts for our communities. The digital divide refers to the gap between those who have access to the internet and digital devices, and those who do not. Providing access to high-speed internet becomes the great enabler and equalizer. Some ways in which reducing the digital divide can help Cameron County:
1. Access to Educational Resources: Closing the digital divide ensures that students in Cameron County have equal access to educational resources available online and enables students to participate in remote learning. VTX1 has also created a gaming or esports competition where students from all economic backgrounds can compete against each other. What was once thought of a just a game is now a multibillion dollar industry that awards its own college scholarships.
2. Enhanced Economic Opportunities: Access to the internet and digital skills are essential in today’s job market. By reducing the digital divide, residents of Cameron County can better access online job opportunities, remote work options, and various digital tools that can enhance their skill set.
3. Healthcare Access: Closing the digital divide ensures that residents have access to online health resources, telehealth services, and health information, improving overall healthcare accessibility.
4. Community Engagement: Digital connectivity allows residents to engage with their community, local government, and civic activities.
5. Small Business Growth: Improved digital access can benefit local businesses by expanding their customer base through online platforms.
6. Social Inclusion: Access to digital resources helps in reducing social isolation, especially for vulnerable populations. It allows individuals to stay connected with friends and family, participate in social networks, and access important information about community events.
Companies like VTX1 Internet have been serving our communities since 1952 initially providing phone service as Valley Telephone Cooperative to those areas lacking phone service.
Fast forward to today – VTX1 Internet is providing high speed internet services to those areas where others have refused to go.
As we like to say we are big enough to do what the big guys can do but small enough to do the things they won’t.
VTX1 is committed to serving south Texas. This public private partnership is the best way to obtain funding to provide full coverage of affordable internet for all the citizens of Cameron County.
VTX1 has over 200 employees serving the Rio Grande Valley. We give back to the community every month in addition to 20 scholarships awarded each year. We strive to make our communities a better place to live. In 2023 we raised our starting hourly wage to $16 per hour. Our average employee makes in excess of $28 per hour along with a generous health and benefits package.
Editor’s Note: The above commentary was delivered by VTX1 CEO Patrick McDonnell at a recent signing ceremony staged by his company and Cameron County. A new partnership between the two entities aims to bridge the digital divide that exists in Cameron County by expanding broadband services.
Editor’s Note: Here is a video recording of the remarks given by McDonnell at the signing ceremony:
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