AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to an announcement from organizers, Texas State Senator Kevin Sparks (TX-31) and Texas Broadband Now will hold a press conference on Friday in support of a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot that would create the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund.
The announcement noted that Sparks and Texas Broadband Now organizers will hold the conference at 1 p.m. on Friday at the Innovation Outpost, located at 1220 S Polk St.
As previously reported on MyHighPlains.com, “Proposition 8” on the Nov. 7 election ballot in Texas will focus on House Joint Resolution 125, “The constitutional amendment creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.”
The proposition would allow Texas to create a $5 billion fund to expand high-speed internet throughout Texas. The fund, along with money from the federal government broadband program and other resources, would offer grants and other support for investments in high-speed internet projects.
According to the US Census Bureau, as noted in previous reports, nearly 7 million Texans live without access to the internet, let alone reliable, high-speed broadband that has become essential for employment, healthcare, education and government services.
Texas Broadband Now said that the proposition will help close the “digital divide” in Texas by improving internet connectivity in rural unserved and underserved areas. Supporters of the proposition have argued that improved internet access will also result in better productivity and efficiency in agriculture and energy.
However, as noted by the League of Women Voters of Amarillo, those against the bill have argued that it does not prioritize lower-income communities for high-speed internet development and that the money in the fund will not be enough to provide service to all Texans.