MCALLEN, Texas – McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos made no mention of broadband connectivity in his 2023 State of the City address, held Jan. 8 at the McAllen Convention Center.
This stood in stark contrast to his neighboring mayor, Pharr’s Ambrosio Hernandez. In his State of the City address on Jan. 19, Hernandez made broadband connectivity and fiber-to-the-home the No. 1 theme of his remarks. He touted the installation of 695 miles of fiber in the ground and said Pharr is now offering “blazing speed and affordability for all.”
Hernandez said: “Pharr is offering affordable broadband internet access to all businesses and families. Now, thanks to the amazing work of our IT department, TeamPharr.net and its partners are actively installing fiber optic cable throughout the city. Even as we sit here today, they’re doing it. And we are proud to share that the TeamPharr.net project is at 72% completion, citywide.”
There was applause from the audience when Hernandez said this.
“And we’re 100% complete in south Pharr, which was the most disconnected area in the nation,” Hernandez said, to more applause. “Every family now has the ability to connect and become part of the TeamPharr.net network.”
The theme of Mayor Villalobos’ State of the City address was “MomentUS – The Power of McAllen.”
“As mayor, and on behalf of my fellow city commissioners, I am both humbled and inspired to pursue momentous goals for McAllen,” Villalobos said. “And we are ready to face any challenge.”
The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service interviewed Mayor Villalobos immediately after his State of the City address to ask why broadband connectivity was not mentioned. Villalobos said the subject was important. However, he said the northern part of McAllen has good internet service and that the City of McAllen has improved matters in the southern part.
Here is the video interview:
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