Burnet County challenges state assessment of broadband coverage
The Burnet County Commissioners Court approved drafting an official challenge to the results of a statewide broadband survey during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14. According to the survey, the county has full access to broadband coverage. This assessment limits the county’s ability to qualify for and receive state and federal funding for internet infrastructure improvements.
Herb Krasner of Connected Burnet County has been working on facilitating high-speed internet coverage across the county since April 2022 but ran into a roadblock when the Federal Communications Commission and Texas Broadband Development Office released maps indicating that Burnet County was fully covered and connected to the internet. Krasner asked commissioners to formally challenge the results, stating that coverage is far spottier than the state’s maps indicate.
If the results go unchallenged, Burnet County might not be eligible for any of the $363 million the state is doling out for internet infrastructure improvements. The Commissioners Court has until Feb. 27 to compose and submit a challenge to the state maps. The window to challenge the FCC coverage map has already closed.
“In simple terms, Herb has led a horse to water,” said Burnet County Judge James Oakley. “He’s trying to help us and tell us what we need to do to help all the citizens of Burnet County.”
Specifically, commissioners will challenge the internet coverage area on the east side of Lake Buchanan in Precinct 1. The state maps indicate this area is fully served with 25-megabits-per-second (Mbps) download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds. Krasner claims much of the county receives coverage from satellite internet providers.
“Satellite-based systems are inherently unreliable,” he said. “We have some areas of Burnet County that are pretty well covered with internet service, but we also have a lot of big gaps. The solution that we want might use satellites as a last resort, but the preferred approach is to use terrestrial systems.”
By terrestrial systems, he means fiber-optic cable or air-fiber options.
Krasner is shooting for 100 Mbps speeds for the whole county, even though this is above federal and state standards. He is currently working alongside fiber-optic internet provider FiberLight to secure a portion of the $1 billion in funding the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is handing out.
“We’re the only county that I know of in Texas that has made this kind of bid to build out the middle mile,” he said.
The “middle mile” refers to the infrastructure necessary to bring broadband internet to a stage where individual residents have the ability to access it using “last mile” infrastructure, which includes service lines that could hook up to the larger fiber-optic cable this grant would provide.
6 thoughts on “Burnet County challenges state assessment of broadband coverage”
This is another pork barrel boondoggle created by a select few who want more bandwidth at their homes so they can write horrendous blogs, post boring pictures and comments on communist owned social media platforms and stream re-runs of Hogan’s Heroes, Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction.
Don’t fall for yet another liberal scam that gets into your wallet. There is no horse led to water! This is more like a pig snout stuck into a Washington DC slop trough and you know who gets stuck with the bill. This administration is loved by Republicans and Democrats alike when there is “free” DC money for them to tap into.
Broadband is 25Mbps, not 100Mbps. Krasner has jacked the bandwidth ask up to a speed only truly delivered by fiber or a short line of sight wireless shot from additional towers that have to be built around the county. He wants to have some more of Uncle Joe Biden’s “free” money so his Spicewood residence gets a huge bandwidth increase.
When you purchase your home, you are aware of your options for Internet access. I live 12 miles NW as a crow flies from downtown Burnet. I knew my Internet access choices were limited when I bought my place. I live within my means and steadfastly refuse to ask anybody to pay for even a portion of my Internet access. As a matter of fact, we all already pay a USF fee on our phone bills today which helps pay for broadband to rural schools, the rural poor, rural libraries and rural healthcare facilities. My 25Mbps works just fine.
There are good reasons Internet Access providers have not built out fiber to my house or thousands of other locations in rural Burnet County. It fails common sense business models. Companies cannot make back their money after the expensive trenching for fiber optics or aerial fiber by hanging fiber on existing power poles and having to pay a pole attachment fee.
In the challenging financial times, we are currently mired in it is embarrassing that a few politicians continue to milk the public for even more $$$ just so they can bump up their bandwidth. If they are successful in hoodwinking the public, watch who gets fiber first.
There are a number of companies offering broadband in Burnet County. More companies will follow. If cost efficient fiber access is desired in Burnet County look to what Bandera Electric Coop is doing in Llano. Bandera Electric Coop is offering access that STARTS at 100Mbps and goes up to to 1Gig in Llano. The electric coops are best positioned of anybody to bring fiber optic internet access to Burnet County due to their electric service network already in the ground. How can BEC do it and the PEC can’t? I thought Burnet County had some pull with the PEC.
There’s coverage, and then there’s coverage at what cost? I see the comment about VGI but it’s probably about the same as mine, $150 per month for 50/8 speeds. Zero2Wireless is my very excellent provider, but all of the point-to-point wireless solutions are expensive.
There has been no horse led to water. There are only pigs with their snouts in the government trough. Remember who is maneuvering to get their snouts in the internet access trough (your back pocket).
We already pay a Federal Universal Services Fee every month which goes to pay down the costs for NECESSARY broadband services in rural areas, low income folks, libraries, schools and rural healthcare facilities. These government handouts Connected Burnet County is seeking are a sham and I am embarrassed Burnet County is holding out its hand for something free (that someone else paid for). Live within your means!
It is yet another typical, liberal scam to make you and I pay for someone to write liberal blogs that nobody reads, post sunset pictures and other worthless trash on communist supported social media platforms and maybe stream reruns of Green Acres, Hogan’s Heroes and Petticoat Junction. Obviously Burnet County RINOS are locked and loaded to join the Dems for yet another way of getting into your wallet and have someone else pay for their follies.
If you want faster internet access…….move. I knew when I bought my place that I would NEVER get fiber delivered internet or even coaxial cable delivered access. I pay for a wireless signal because it makes business sense for a company trying to make their company grow. The build out for a fiber network that hangs on PEC poles or is trenched into Burnet County granite does not come close to making the majority of business models work. Companies need subscribers to pay for the buildout of fiber and rural areas and they just are not there.
I find it ludicrous that the Connected Burnet County minority are primarily working to bring fiber to hard to reach Spicewood area homes first and foremost. I wonder why? 100Mbps for all of Burnet County? 25Mbps is nationally considered broadband access and fully capable of supporting 95% of Burnet County customer’s online needs.
Maybe our leaders need to twist the golden arm of the PEC. The PEC is best positioned to offer fiber in these areas as they own the poles already in the ground. Other Co-ops are actively offering fiber based internet access and have been for a number of years. Why is the bloated PEC lagging behind?
3 miles north up 963 you have 1 option, must be wired connection and hope the wind does not blow. Less than 1 Mbps upload on a good day.
We need more options.
Internet coverage at East Lake Buchanan is virtually non-existent. We have called countless providers who do not serve the area and don’t have plans to do so. We have a hot spot. That’s it.
Burnet county is already capable of coverage.
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