Denton County, TX (September 16, 2020) – The Lake Cities Broadband Committee in partnership with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas), just launched a new effort today to improve broadband (high-speed internet) access for families, businesses, and communities across Denton County, Texas. “Internet connection is no longer a luxury but a necessity, especially for people living in Denton County.” said Michael Barnhart, City of Lake Dallas Mayor. “Since the coronavirus outbreak, many of our residents have shifted their work and schooling to an online platform which makes the need for faster broadband connections more important than ever. Our families and businesses cannot thrive or even access the basic resources they need without this technology.” The Lake Cities Broadband Committee made up of local community leaders is working with CN Texas to assess the state of broadband in the cities of Corinth, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, and Shady Shores. These communities will work together to establish an overall broadband planning process and address the current and future broadband needs across the county. “We want to help our community members in any way we can, so we are working with CN Texas to leverage their Connected Community Engagement Program,” said Lynn Clark, Town of Hickory Creek Mayor. “We are asking residents in all four towns to take part in online surveys to help us create a more effective Technology Action Plan that will positively impact residents, businesses, and community organizations. This plan will give a better understanding of existing resources and where there is need for improved access. The important thing to remember is this plan is only as good as the data collected, so we really need as many people as possible to take part.”.” Residents, businesses, community organizations, and others are encouraged to take the ten-minute surveys at the following links: •Corinth: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/corinth/ •Hickory Creek: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/hickory-creek/ •Lake Dallas: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/lake-dallas/ •Shady Shores: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/shady-shores/ “By taking this survey, you are helping bridge the Digital Divide between rural and urban communities throughout our state,” said Cindy Aughinbaugh, Town of Shady Shores Mayor. “By assessing the current infrastructure and being able to see what areas are in need of faster broadband, we are helping residents of Denton County stay better connected. We will be working with local stakeholders to study the broadband landscape of the area and develop a plan that helps keep everyone online.” The Connected program has developed more than 350 Technology Action Plans for communities across the country. CN Texas, thanks to funding from the Texas Rural Collaborative, is bringing the program to 23 communities across the state. The Community Broadband Assessment and related surveys will be open through November. “The time is now to support the access, adoption and use of broadband technology in our homes and businesses,” said Bill Heidemann, City of Corinth Mayor. “As community leaders, we are ready to provide faster and stronger broadband services to our residents. With help from the Connected Community Engagement Program and your survey responses, we can make that all possible.” You can also find the Denton County map and review its information by heading to https://connectednation.org/texas/2020-county-maps/ and then provide feedback at https://connectednation.org/texas/feedback. You can also find an interactive map at https://connectednation.org/texas/interactivemap. To learn more email Jennifer Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CN Texas website at https://connectednation.org/texas/. # # # About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is a local division of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter. About the Texas Rural Funders: The mission of the Texas Rural Funders (TRF) is to partner with rural Texans to achieve their vision of prosperity and wellbeing. The group’s strategies recognize and are informed by rural expertise and assets. The TRFC leverages local, philanthropic, state and federal resources to collaborate on projects, support local capacity and leadership, share research, convene stakeholders and engage in advocacy. More information can be found on the TRF webpage at: https://www.edtx.org/get-involved/texas-rural-funders-collaborative.