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Samstag, 22.06.2024
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NTXIA has re-launched the Internet for North Texas Coalition to prioritise broadband infrastructure and access, supporting digital equity for all residents.

North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA) has announced the re-launch of the “Internet for North Texas Coalition” (I4NTX) in partnership with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

This coalition represents a collaborative effort across North Texas to prioritise broadband infrastructure and access, supporting digital equity for all residents.

Smart and resilient region

NTXIA is a regional consortium of some 40 municipalities, agencies, corporations and academic institutions across North Texas, working to create the “most connected, smart and resilient region in the country”.

“The I4NTX Coalition aims to revive the intent of Operation Connectivity and work with cross-sector teams to bring broadband access to more households throughout North Texas, leveraging the established coalition built by the NTXIA,” said Jennifer Sanders, executive director of NTXIA.

"We are honoured to lead this effort and continue to grow the momentum in creating a digitally equitable future. With the support and guidance of our public sector partners, and subject matter expertise from the private sector, we are setting a strong foundation for sustainable digital growth and accessibility in the region."

NTXIA, together with the NCTCOG and members of the Texas Governor’s Broadband Council, will spearhead this initiative, building on the work of the Dallas-focused Internet for All Coalition while expanding efforts to the regional level.

Originally launched in 2020 with the establishment of Operation Connectivity, the Internet for All Coalition illustrated disparities in broadband access at the school district and neighbourhood level, which set th target of connecting every K-16 student to high-speed broadband at home.

The I4NTX coalition will engage public and academic entities across the region to address key elements and challenges of broadband efforts, including data, policy, infrastructure and equitable access.

The coalition will also lead a subcommittee of between 20- and 30 public sector practitioners that will advise elected officials from the Regional Transportation Council to form a legislative programme to address regional digital needs with the Texas legislature. It will also encourage local municipalities to designate broadband technical leads and share best practices for achieving universal broadband access.

“On April 11th, 2024, the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) for North Texas took a major step in approving NCTCOG’s innovative broadband as transportation programme. The programme not only recognises internet access as a crucial transportation mode, but it also establishes a robust framework for promoting widespread digital inclusivity across the North Texas region,” said Connor Sadro, NCTCOG.

“By declaring broadband a mode of transportation, we are not just expanding infrastructure; we are enhancing educational outcomes, economic opportunities, access to healthcare and quality of life improvements for residents impacted most by the digital divide.”

“I4NTX is a visionary step towards transforming how we understand and implement infrastructure for widespread connectivity,” added Matt Yeager, a digital equity and connectivity advocate and member of the Texas Governor’s Broadband Development Council.

“Broadband is as crucial as roads and bridges in today’s world and ensuring that every resident has broadband access is fundamental to our region’s growth and prosperity. As a founding member of the Operation Connectivity initiative in 2020, this is the right time to relaunch and expand the coalition’s efforts, led by NTXIA.”

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 10.05.2024

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