Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2022
(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar today announced his agency has selected data company LightBox to develop the state’s broadband availability map. The map will help the Comptroller’s Broadband Development Office (BDO) determine where to invest public funding in areas most in need of broadband connectivity as it implements the Texas Broadband Plan.
“We are excited to partner with LightBox for the important task of connecting Texans in unserved and underserved parts of this state. During my Broadband Listening Tour, I could see the frustration on people’s faces – they’re not connected, their connection is not reliable or they can’t afford it,” Hegar said. “When this map is complete, the BDO along with community leaders and members of the public will be able to extract information from the map to better understand the needs of their regions and to make better decisions establishing programs related to broadband development.”
LightBox, which provides a geospatial mapping service, also has been employed by state officials in Georgia, Alabama and Montana to help create detailed broadband coverage maps. LightBox will soon start collecting data from internet service providers throughout Texas in an effort to develop a comprehensive broadband availability map, which the company is expected to complete by January 2023.
“LightBox is the ideal partner in helping states map and identify a comprehensive view of every broadband serviceable location (BSL),” said Eric Frank, chief executive officer at LightBox. “It’s a critical starting point for states to ensure they are maximizing the amount of federal funds they can receive and deploy those funds effectively. We are thrilled to add the state of Texas to the growing list of states where we are providing our SmartFabric™ BSL data and geographic information system expertise to bridge the digital divide and help ensure that all residents have access to reliable broadband service.”
The map will feature addresses of all types, including homes, businesses, public schools, charter schools, governmental entities, community anchor institutions, military bases, community colleges and tribal areas.
The Texas Legislature created the BDO in 2021 to award grants, low-interest loans and other financial incentives to internet service providers who expand access to broadband service in underserved areas. The Comptroller’s office released the Texas Broadband Plan in June.
For more information about the Texas Broadband Development Office, go to BroadbandForTexas.com.