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Texas County Approves Broadband Service Enhancements

Henderson County commissioners have approved an agreement with ISP Brightspeed to enhance regional broadband services. The project will connect nearly 5,000 locations by mid 2026.

(TNS) — Henderson County Commissioners approved an agreement with Brightspeed LLC to enhance broadband services, within the county.

The project will combine $2.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds with other state money to connect all of Henderson County to highspeed broadband Internet when the projects are completed.

Brightspeed will deliver 114.7 miles of fiber and connect nearly 5,000 locations within Henderson County. Due to the time labor and funding, the completion date for this phase of the project is expected to be in early-to-mid 2026.

Commissioners agreed this is an ongoing investment. It is hoped the fiber delivering high-speed Internet access will look like a quilt according to a representative of Brightspeed who spoke during Tuesday's meeting.

The projects are expected to total $8 million and combine federal and state money. Over time it's hoped that all of Henderson County will be connected to broadband Internet service.

Henderson County Judge Wade McKinney called the opportunity "an economic game changer." Citing the increase of tele-health, educational and entertainment opportunities.

"This is a wonderful opportunity we have in front of us," said McKinney.

Texas has received about $3.3 billion of federal funds as well as state money allocated to connect Texans to high-speed Internet since Fiscal Year 2022.

Commissioners approved the reappointments of Kim McClaskey Todd Miller and Earl Beets to serve on the Emergency Service District # 2 Board of Commissioners.

Board members will serve a term ending on December 31, 2025, located in Precinct 2.

A donation of $8,000.00 from Red Hill Cemetery was accepted by the Commissioners Court to defer the cost of road material for repairs to roads in the North section of the cemetery. The donation completes the agreement from the Oct. 31.

Commissioners approved the Rural Fire Protection Contracts with Volunteer Fire Departments and Fire Chief Association of Henderson County.

The Court accepted various financial reports from the County Clerk's Office, JP Offices, County and District Courts. All financial reports will be available for the public to review.

Commissioners approved several right of way permits for utility and fiber optic cable instillation for ongoing projects in Pct's 3 and 4.

Commissioners also approved the payment of bills in the amount of $679,523.74 as presented. The payment of $42,191.16 for Fiscal Year 2024 bills, was also approved.

Commissioners approved the minutes from the Oct. 31 meeting of the Henderson County Commissioners Court, before adjourning.

There were no payroll distributions and account cash sheets, contracts, budget amendments plats, or bids submitted before the Court Tuesday.

The Henderson County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Every Tuesday unless otherwise noted inside the Annex Building, 125 N. Prairieville Street in Athens.

©2023 the Athens Daily Review, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.