Broadband Partners in Education & More

Addressing the “summer slide” for the digital disadvantaged is something that Etex has been pursuing with its local education and faith communities long before the shutdown. In the above ViodiTV Real-Time Conversation, Charlie Cano, Etex’s General Manager/CEO, talks about their efforts to use its broadband platform to help students all year long.

The approach they came up with that involves providing broadband credits to teachers and families as an incentive for summer learning. This program sprouted from the relationships that Etex management had with its local educational institutions. Since 2016, Etex has grown from a service territory of 710 square miles to 3,700 square miles, thanks in large part to the fiber network they built for connecting their local schools.

Etex’s fiber network put them in a position to rapidly adapt to school from home. Cano explains that the biggest barrier to the continued expansion of broadband is the funding issues associated with the Texas Universal Service Fund, which the Texas Telephone Association’s (Cano is a board member), analysis suggests will run out of money by February 2021, unless the Texas PUC intervenes with a rate adjustment.

Finally, Cano provides insight into his great American success story and the unique ways he is passing on the wisdom he has picked up along the way.

Interview Highlights:

Click the timecode below to go directly to that section of the conversation.

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