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Governor appoints Llano’s Hatch Smith Jr. to state Broadband Development Council

Llano’s Hatch Cummings Smith Jr. is one of three Texans appointed to the new Broadband Development Council by Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo courtesy of the Llano Chamber of Commerce

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Hatch Cummings Smith Jr. to the state’s new Broadband Development Council on Aug. 16.

Smith, who serves as the chief executive officer and administrator of MidCoast Medical Center-Central in Llano, is one of three individuals who will serve terms that expire Aug. 31, 2026. Their role is to bring broadband to underserved areas of Texas.

“It was kind of last minute,” he said. “I’d been in touch with the governor’s office. They’d reached out months ago. They’d been looking for a spot for me.”

Smith had been talking to the Llano Economic Development Corp. “and other groups to bring broadband.” Those conversations led to interviews with the governor’s office.

He believes his appointment is beneficial for Llano in many ways, including receiving information quickly, meeting decision makers and hearing the challenges they’re facing, and better understanding the hurdles faced by the state and rural Texas.

“I know our school district would benefit from it,” he said of the broadband council’s work.

The council was created by the 86th Legislature in 2019 and expanded by the 87th Legislature this year.

jfierro@thepicayune.com