DETCOG Submits Challenges to Texas Broadband Map

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The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has filed the required evidence with the Texas Broadband Development Office to challenge the accuracy of the new State Broadband Map. The challenge asserts that 46 census blocks in the 11-county DETCOG Region have significantly slower internet speeds than reported on the initial Texas Broadband Development Map. The state map will be used in determining how state and federal Broadband Internet Funds will be distributed around the state.

The challenge process did not allow for individual challenges, but provided that governmental entities and internet providers could provide evidence to contest the map. DETCOG’s challenge is based on evidence gathered from over 3,000 households and businesses in Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler Counties. These households and businesses responded to DETCOG’s requests to complete an online broadband survey and speed test.

DETCOG staff and contractors analyzed the surveys, grouping them by census blocks and identifying the ones where a minimum of 20 percent of the households in a census block were inaccurately represented on the state map. That analysis found 46 reportable census blocks where the data significantly differed from the state’s map.

“We had just gone through a similar process to challenge parts of the new Federal Communications Commission National Broadband Map, said DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt. “So, when the new Texas Broadband Map was released, we immediately recognized it over-represented the availability and speeds of internet service in our region. Left unchallenged, the use of both maps looked like our region would be short-changed when state and federal funds are distributed.”

DETCOG continues to leave up the challenge survey webpage where residents can submit their home information. It may be needed if further map changes are considered and to collect data for future grant applications. The survey and speed test may be completed at:

https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7218052/Deep-East-Texas-Internet-Speed-Test

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