Gov. Greg Abbott announced broadband access as one of his emergency items for the legislative session on Feb. 1 during his State of the State speech.
Abbott established the Broadband Development Council in 2019 to research broadband development in rural areas, including east Texas. The council reported over 900,000 Texans do not have access to broadband.
“From medicine to education to business, broadband access is not a luxury—it is an essential tool that must be available for all Texans,” Gov. Abbott said during his speech.
The University’s internet connection uses broadband speeds several times greater than the average consumer.
“Our network is configured so that if either of those connections is lost all of our network traffic is routed to the one working circuit and users on campus never have an interruption of service,” Tim Lewallen, assistant director of customer service, said.
“We are certainly in favor of our east Texas communities having access to faster and more reliable internet services,” Lewallen said.
Students have had issues with the internet being down on campus before, but according to Lewallen, it is not common.
“The day the internet was down we were not able to go through the module for that day, but other than that we went on with class as normal,” Sarah Lowery, junior elementary education major from Cushing who has experienced internet issues on campus, said.