Community briefs for Jan. 19, 2023.
Fort Bend County residents can now connect to the FCC’s new national broadband map, through the county website, as the county continues to lay out plans to expand broadband services and increase access to reliable internet service.
Last year, County Judge KP George and commissioners approved a measure to conduct a broadband feasibility study to better understand the current levels of internet service available in Fort Bend County and identify areas in need of improved infrastructure.
“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of having home internet access for our workforce, businesses, schools, students, teachers, and parents,” George said. “This effort will help address internet availability challenges and bridge the digital divide in underserved and unincorporated areas in Fort Bend County.”
The passage of the federal bipartisan billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act bill in 2021 allocated a total of $65 billion for broadband improvements. Funding includes over $42 billion for a new Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program focused on connecting underserved areas by providing money through state grants.
All 50 states were charged with allocating initial funding totaling $100 million, with additional funding to be distributed based on coverage by the National Broadband Map put out by the FCC. The map is available to residents for their input through a Public Challenge Process.
Residents can now visit the Broadband Data Collection website to view their home or business data and submit a challenge if there are inaccuracies in either the location information (their address) or availability of coverage listed (service at the address).
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center has temporarily relocated to the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management due to a nearby electrical fire.
Officials said there is no disruption to emergency 911 calls or the 281-341-4665 nonemergency line. The sheriff's office will continue its dispatch operations at the OEM until further notice.
"We are thankful that nobody got hurt during this situation and that FBCSO dispatchers can continue regular operations in answering calls for service,” Fagan said. “We'd also like to give thanks to the volunteers who assisted during the move including Sheriff's Office Support Services and communication personnel, Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association, Fort Bend County IT, OEM and MOD Pizza, located on FM 762, for feeding our team. We are grateful for the community partnerships."
The Friends of Maud Marks Library will hold their annual meeting at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 23 in the meeting room of the library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd. The event is open to the public.
The Friends of Maud Marks Library is a group of local men and women who have united in support of the library and the programs it offers to the community. The group organizes monthly used book sales and the money earned is used to support library sponsored programs such as the Summer Reading Program.