MCALLEN, Texas – Cindy Garza-Reyes, director of external affairs for the City of Pharr, recently spoke at the 26th Annual TATOA Conference & Awards Ceremony.

TATOA stands for the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors. The conference was held at the McAllen Convention Center.

The panel Garza-Reyes spoke on was titled “Municipal Broadband Infrastructure Solutions to Address Local Needs.” In her remarks, Garza-Reyes explained how and why Pharr deployed its municipal fiber-to-the-home network.

Here are Garza-Reyes’ remarks:


Promoting the panel Garza-Reyes spoke on, the conference program stated: “According to the national private internet service providers, 98 percent of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) region has “access” to broadband internet service. However, the COVID pandemic proved that the promise of “access” to broadband infrastructure at speeds that can support video conferencing for an average of two children in a household attending online classes and at least one parent working remotely, leaves large portions of the RGV without a viable broadband solution. The pandemic also showed the need for robust broadband connections for small businesses and to expand telehealth services, and that cost is a barrier to broadband adoption for many families. Several cities across the RGV are no longer waiting for the private deployment of broadband infrastructure to address the digital divide.”

Editor’s Note: The above video news story is the third in a three-part series based on a recent conference held by the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (TATOA) at the McAllen Convention Center. Part One featured a video interview about the digital divide with TATOA Vice President Gabriel Garcia. Click here to watch it. Part Two featured both the remarks Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation executive director Judy Quisenberry made at the conference and an interview she gave the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. Click here to read, listen, and watch it.

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