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LLANO COUNTY BROADBAND IMPROVEMENT STUDY

In 2020 and 2021, Llano County governments, residents, and businesses experienced significant broadband communications challenges with the closures of businesses, schools, and government offices due to both COVID-19 and adverse weather conditions. I, along with the Llano County Commissioners, recognize the critical need for reliable communications to better prepare for future emergencies in and around Llano County. A more vibrant network needs to not only be developed to assist local, state, and federal officials communicate under extreme emergency conditions, but to assist with future and increasing economic development and education needs.

On October 15, 2021, Llano County Commissioners Court voted for and approved a Llano County Broadband Feasibility Study to better identify the underserved and unserved areas of Llano County in order to better identify solutions for Llano County. CobbFendley, a professional engineering firm was selected following a competitive Request for Qualification process. 

We look forward to working with CobbFendley, our local governments, businesses, and citizens to improve broadband connectivity throughout Llano County. 

Ron Cunningham
Llano County Judge

Key Purpose
The main purpose of the study is to outline a plan for developing a broadband network throughout Llano County.

Background
In an effort to improve access to reliable, available, and affordable high-speed broadband internet services, Llano County officials determined the need for a Broadband Improvement Initiative and that a Feasibility Study should be conducted. This initiative and study will be used to identify the broadband needs and gaps within the County and ultimately provide potential projects which can be implemented through federal grant programs and partnerships. Concluding the study, the selected project(s) can be designed and implemented improving broadband service options and facilitating digital equity throughout the community. The County has contracted CobbFendley to conduct the study and preliminary engineering in support of the proposed Broadband project(s) with the goal of providing reliable, available, and affordable high-speed broadband internet throughout Llano County.

About the Study

The Broadband Improvement Study includes several phases in the planning effort. The first phase includes engaging with key stakeholders and the community to assess community needs, identify gaps and opportunities for partnership in expanding broadband throughout the County.
A public survey for residents and business, as well as a speed test, were made available on the County website from: February 25, 2022 – March 25, 2022. The survey was also promoted and accessible for residents to complete at the public libraries. The results from the survey and speedtest will be utilized in the needs and gaps analysis and be summarized in the report.
The next phase in the study is developing a network design to explore various options and draft an implementation plan which will provide options for the County to consider in taking the best course of action to implement a quality broadband network. The design and implementation plan will also be utilized during the funding analysis and impact matrix development to prepare the County for applying for competitive grants funds.
At the end of the planning phase, CobbFendley will present the Study to County officials for review and adoption before the Commissioner’s Court. The goal for the study completion is the end of April.

About CobbFendley
Through more than 40 years of providing consulting services to the municipal and private sectors, CobbFendley is a civil engineering and surveying firm with expertise in providing planning and design services related to communications infrastructure.  Across CobbFendley’s Texas locations, they currently employ over 130 fiber/broadband and utility professionals as well as more than 80 municipal and transportation/traffic infrastructure professionals who are familiar with municipalities similar to the Llano County.

Located in the Houston Office, Melissa Beaudry, will serve as the Project Manager and main point of contact for this study. In that role Melissa and the CobbFendley team will ensure that the appropriate resources are dedicated for this program from beginning to end.

For more information contact Llano County at 325.247.7730