Accessing the Internet by helping to provide support for high-speed broadband infrastructure and technology has been the focus of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance for the last several years.
(TNS) — Interstates and county roads are not the only transportation issues MOTRAN has been addressing.
Accessing the information superhighway, as the internet was known in its early days, through the most current broadband technology has been the focus of the
"One of the areas that's also important to transportation is moving data and information," said James Beauchamp, MOTRAN president, as he provided an update on broadband in
Their location along the interstate means
He discussed the results of a recent survey the organization conducted about broadband. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he said 49.7 percent of
Continuing to focus on
Beauchamp said the survey found that 35 percent of respondents said broadband was too expensive and 58 percent said it was not available to them.
"What we found was really important was the cost," Beauchamp said. "Over 65 percent pay $45 to $50 more for their current plans than other plans currently available to them, available in most cases without contracts and at higher levels of service."
He urged broadband users -- or those who want broadband service -- to contact their providers, update their service plans or ask if service is available to them. Doing so could save consumers significant amounts of money, he said.
Beauchamp said, "A lot of businesses here are doing amazing things."
He then highlighted two of them.
One is NextLink Internet, which last year won a $2.7 million funding grant from the
Kyle Towns with
Towns said its infrastructure plans include building new towers or connecting wireless service to assets in the town, from existing towers to water towers. Utilizing existing assets lets the company update technology. He cited work in
"About a year ago, we started investing, kicked the project off, built out the entire city, fiber to home. That is one aspect of where we can leverage the infrastructure we buy," he said. "We talk about a high level of service. It may be a hospital, it may be a financial institution, a manufacturing service that needs a high level of service. We can incorporate that as well."
He said the company also wants to work with housing developers trying to bring broadband infrastructure to the homes they're building.
Broadband can also help with economic diversification, as illustrated by
Neville Haynes with BBT said the company has made significant progress since the center was announced last year. Work is underway on the existing 1,700-square-foot building that will house half-racks, racks, cages, copper and fiber cable, backup power generators and security. There is also room to expand with a larger second facility and even more power generation, he said.
In addition to talking with area providers like Grande, Sparklight and
"The analogy for folks in the
Cameron Brown with BBT said, "People ask why do you have this notion of building a data center in the
He said it will let BBT's customers meet compliance requirements and will result in a better network that runs faster and more smoothly for those working from home, shopping online, attending school online, practicing telemedicine, or just watching Netflix, Hulu or Amazon television shows.
"We are so excited about what this brings to the area," said Beauchamp. "This is a big step forward; we're getting onboard with technology."
(c)2020 the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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