BROADBAND DIGGING

Digging continues down Highway 79 as Etex Communications approaches Palestine with its broadband cable line.

 

In just a months time Etex Communications’ broadband cable crews have made great strides in their efforts to bring the company’s services to our community, laying line from Jacksonville to Palestine. As of Thursday, Feb. 4 the crews were just 8.4 miles from the loop on Hwy 79.

“I’m not sure I can adequately describe the level of excitement I feel seeing Etex Communications hard at work extending fiber into our community,” said Lisa Denton, Economic Development Director for Palestine.

“This project will open the door for Palestine to recruit new industry, assist existing companies with growth and profitability, and improve the overall quality of life for our community. It is likely to be one of the greatest impact projects we will have the opportunity to participate in, and we appreciate the investment that Etex is making in Palestine, and Anderson County.”

The Palestine Economic Development Corporation has partnered with Etex Communications to bring fiber broadband to Palestine and Anderson County.

After identifying the lack of local broadband services as a key economic development issue, PEDC began working, studying current internet access and created a plan for improving it.

To get the project moving, the PEDC Board, with city council approval, took the first step in the process, committing financial assistance of $1.1 million, for a portion of the cost of construction to pull fiber, on Etex’s network, from Jacksonville into Palestine.

A symbolic ribbon cutting and dirt turn for the project was hosted Monday, Jan. 5 in Reagan Park.

According to Denton, in Anderson County, just 70.9% of residents are using internet services, compared with 76.4% on average.

The lower adoption rate can make it even more difficult for broadband providers to come in or sustain.

In March of 2020, Anderson County was selected to take part in a broadband study with Connected Nation Texas.

A survey of 1,648 households confirmed much of what was already known; our area is lacking in affordable, reliable, high speed internet for businesses and residents, both in Palestine and Anderson County.

For information on availability of broadband service through Etex Communications, contact Larry Montgomery at 903-797-1036.

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