EDINBURG, Texas – Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez is asking residents to take a brief survey to help assess current internet service. 

Cortez said the survey will help county officials better understand the current levels of internet service and overall need. He said the data could help secure millions of dollars in federal funding to provide improved access.

“At the height of the pandemic, we made great strides in providing Internet access to as many underserved parts of Hidalgo County as we could,” Cortez said. “This survey is an initial step in securing additional federal dollars to continue that effort.”

According to the 2022 U.S. Census American Community Survey, 54 percent of household in the Rio Grande Valley do not have a subscription to fixed broadband service. Cortez said the 5-minute online survey and Internet speed test will help Hidalgo County Commissioners Court understand how bad the digital divide is in the county.

“The more people who complete the brief survey and speed test, the better picture the county will have of its strengths and weaknesses for coverage. The survey will also include a speed test to pinpoint exact speeds of Internet service,” a news release from Cortez’s office states.

“We encourage people to forward the survey to friends and neighbors who live or do business in Hidalgo County and rely on the Internet.”

Cortez said Hidalgo County contracted with CobbFendley to complete a Broadband Access and Improvement Study to understand the full scope of need for Internet improvements across the county. 

“The results of the survey will be included in the final report and utilized to understand where the county should focus its efforts on broadband improvement,” the news release from Cortez’s office states. 

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