Efforts to bring high-speed internet access

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During the height of the pandemic, we were all reminded how important the internet is.

Now, more high-speed internet options will soon be available in Harlingen, but more internet infrastructure does not always mean more access to the web. 

Maria De Los Rios says her granddaughter asked her about some crews working on East Avenue in Harlingen, they were installing the internet. 

De Los Rios says she is already a Spectrum customer, and is not thinking about switching to high-speed fiber optic.

"I don't think so," De Los Rios said. "My husband and I barely use it, we only have an internet service for the grandkids." 

"Every person deserves to be — to have physical access to the internet," Planning Director at Connected Nation Molly Wiener said. 

Wiener says many people in Texas still can not get online.

A study they did in 2018 showed 1.8 million Texans — many of them in rural areas, do not have access to high-speed internet.

Lubbock-based Vexus Fiber is looking to reach more customers in cities not as large as their usual customer base, they want to connect with cities like Harlingen and McAllen. 

"Most folks started working from home, and it highlighted that some of the networks needed to be worked on and improved on," Vexus Fiber employee Norma Branscum said.

But some analysts believe that even with more lines to people's homes, some will not want to pay for an internet connection, especially now with record high inflation. 


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