Abbott and O’Rourke disagree over internet access plan
ROBSTOWN, Texas – JD Boone moved to Spring Gardens, located just outside of Robstown, about a year ago. He said that since moving to the area he has experienced a slow internet connection.
âWhenever we try to watch the house, we try to verify through the camera. A lot of times it’s just an interrupted signal, no signal is present, we can’t see what’s going on in the house, âBoone said.
He said there is only one internet provider in the area and he pays around $ 100 per month for internet. He said that when his kids go to distance school and do their homework, the internet can come in and go out.
âIf they don’t have a signal, they can’t take their courses online, so the signal falls in the middle of the course. This has happened several times, âhe said.
All sides of the political spectrum are working on it. President Biden’s infrastructure bill spends $ 65 billion on broadband. Texas Congressman Michael Cloud also hopes to bring better broadband to rural areas of the Coastal Curve.
Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke is also trying to bring high-speed internet to communities in Texas.
âIt’s the only way to finish school, look for a job, start a small business, or do just about anything that’s important to us in our lives right now,â O’Rourke said.
However, Governor Greg Abbott is also backing the same issue, signing House Bill 5 in June, which created a national broadband office and appoints a council to monitor and fund broadband in rural communities.
That same month, Abbott vetoed House Bill 2667, which would have made more money for the Texas Universal Service Fund, which supports the internet in rural areas. Abbott argues it would have created new fees, but O’Rourke said it would cause inflation.
âEvery time you open that electric, gas, internet, or phone bill and your rates go up, it’s because of one person and one personâ¦ Greg Abbott,â O said. ‘Rourke.
The Texas Tribune reports that Abbott’s campaign responded by saying he signed 6 broadband reform bills and invested $ 500 million for internet access in rural communities.
“I would much rather have those in the company’s offices pay their fair share than asking rural phone customers,” O’Rourke said when asked about Abbott’s laws.