Gregg County officials prepare for expanded broadband internet access

GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) – After years of planning, the ball is now rolling to make ‘broadband’ accessibility a reality for one East Texas county.

Gregg County commissioners approved a three-phase plan to begin work on expanding broadband across the county and connecting with neighboring counties.

The presentation of a broadband plan for Gregg County started with the statistic of how the average person checks their cell phone.

“People on average check 344 times a day, which adds up to once every four minutes,” said one presenter.

The three-phase plan for expanding broadband internet access in Gregg County was what county judge Bill Stoudt had been waiting for.

“The first phase was lined out by our IT department. It’s basically the spokes of the wheel. We’ve got access out to many parts of the rural area right now but we’re going to start connecting the ends of those broadband areas,” Stoudt says.

The presentation focused on the plan as a business have-to.

“It’s probably one of the top three questions asked. Besides your labor force and incentive, it’s broadband access,” the judge says.

“It’s very important simply because it’s the future for people working at home, offices are closing down, and we want to be competitive in this area,” said Precinct 4 commissioner Shannon Brown.

Of equal importance is how the plan will connect Gregg with neighboring counties.

“Addition to that will overlap what we’re putting in that will be able to connect all the areas around us the counties around us if they choose to connect, for the regional broadband aspect,” said Stoudt.

Commissioners approved unanimously.

The plan seeks federal and state grants to fund the project, which once started, is expected to take two years to complete.

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