Bexar County is investing millions to upgrade its digital landscape. They're expanding broadband to reach underserved areas in Texas suburbs, spending over $5 million to bring faster internet to residents who've had slower connections. This aims to bridge the gap between remote work and telehealth needs in suburban life.
In a decision that could see nearly 1,800 additional households join the information superhighway, the Bexar County Commissioners Court recently authorized an amendment to their existing contract with telecom giant Spectrum. The expansion is not just a tech upgrade but a lifeline for the community, as Mark Gager, Bexar County’s Chief Information Officer, underscored. "100% of households in our community" will have access to high-speed internet following this project, Gager told Express News.
The price tag for the ambitious project is hefty, with the county's latest round of funding reaching up to $6.35 million. However, Spectrum is chipping in roughly $4.9 million to help cover costs, as per Express News. This collaboration is a financial bolster to the county's continued efforts, building on the prior agreement to extend internet services to 8,761 households and ensuring no one is left clinging to the buffer wheel.
Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai, who campaigned on the promise to close the digital divide, sees this investment as a critical step in realizing that goal. "One of the goals that I had talked about during my campaign was to close the digital divide," Sakai stated during a commissioners court meeting, as reported by Government Technology. The county, which has earmarked $25.25 million of its federal pandemic relief for the cause, is eyeing an end to this expansive project by December 2025. But plans for connecting all 1,400 households in the less dense, more cost-intensive phase two are still up in the air, leaving county officials to weigh the full coverage against fiscal prudence.