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Millions of Texans lack access to high-speed broadband internet. After a year of seeing constituents deal with remote school, working from home and telehealth appointments — all to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic — state lawmakers seem determined this legislative session to begin to fix the issue.

State Rep. Trent Ashby, a Lufkin Republican, filed a bill that would create a state hub for coordinating resources, and establish a grant program to incentivize access to and the development of broadband services. The legislation would also direct the office to create a map showing the quality of internet connections.

Texas families living in unincorporated neighborhoods outside major towns, known as “colonias,” have been frustrated about the lack of quality internet connectivity. Watch as we take you to a couple of colonias in South Texas, where learning safely at home is extremely difficult for students without reliable internet.

The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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