MCALLEN, Texas – According to information from the Dallas Federal Reserve, the Rio Grande Valley is one of the least connected regions in the nation. 

Put another way, the digital divide in the Valley is wide. 

It also accepted by economic development leaders that digitization is an engine for business growth and job creation. In fact, according to a 2019 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, Texas could add up to $3.8 billion to the state’s GDP per year by closing its rural digital divide.

Yet, in the Valley, 54 percent of households do not have a subscription to fixed broadband service. That is according to the 2022 U.S. Census American Community Survey.

But, thus far, the only meaningful investment in fiber-to-the-home among Valley communities is coming from the cities of Pharr and Brownsville. Both cities have worked with Connect Humanity, a nonprofit fund for digital equity.

Recently, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service asked Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and Connect Humanity’s project lead in the Valley, Jordana Barton-Garcia why that was. 

Here is what they said:


Editor’s Note: The above video story is the third in a four-part series on Connect Humanity’s work in the Rio Grande Valley. Click here to read Part One. Click here to watch Part Two.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above video story shows Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, Connect Humanity’s Jordana Barton-Garcia, and Lone Star National Bank Vic President Julian Alvarez.

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