ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) Several groups are working together in hopes of bringing better Wi-Fi and broadband internet to Ector County.
Vice President of Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance, Dustin Fawcett, said the Odessa Development Corporation approached MOTRAN and tasked the team with finding out how well technology like broadband internet, fiber optics and Wi-Fi are working in Ector County.
MOTRAN also aims to find out how that technology can be improved for community members.
Fawcett said MOTRAN sent out 11,000 surveys to households and businesses that specifically fall into District 1, District 2 and West Odessa.
“That way, we get a good comprehension of what level of service exists out there right now, what types of rates and speeds they have, and also the prices,” he said.
The transportation expert added they invite every Ector County resident to take the survey, which can be found at the following website: HTTP://CONNECTMYCOMMUNITY.ORG/RURAL-ODESSA-TX/
Fawcett said the survey is only 22 questions, and it can be completed online in about 12 minutes.
One community member, Saleen Bolton, said her family of four experiences Wi-Fi issues on a daily basis.
“We always have to unplug the box, plug it back in, restart it. Like, it was always all the time,” she said.
Bolton said the Wi-Fi problems impact her entire family, but she was left more frustrated while she was in school. Bolton said she spent several hours online every day doing homework to complete her dental assistant training.
“I’m doing, like, school work and I need to upload an assignment. Then it crashes and I lose everything. It was hard, I didn’t know if I’d upload something and have to redo it. So I would just go somewhere to upload it,” she said.
Bolton and her family live in a district MOTRAN said is likely underserved.
“About 7,000 went out in the purple and blue areas along I-20 in the southern area of Odessa, that’s the loop. Then out here to the west [Odessa], a couple thousand more went out,” Fawcett said.
The transportation expert said the overall goal of the survey is to raise awareness about the market for the technology.
“The goal is for more broadband companies to come out here and increase the market. Having more folks out here to increase the services tends to decrease the prices of these things and also elevate the service so hopefully, we get a better service at a cheaper price,” he said.
MOTRAN said the survey will be open for several more months, then in the fall the findings will be presented to the Odessa Development Corporation and companies.
Another community member, Leroy Greens, said the survey is a good idea.
“We need a better service out here to be honest. It’s a smaller town out here, so they lack a lot of resources that major towns do,” he said.
Bolton said she believes the better broadband, Wi-Fi, and other technology, will help everyone in Ector County.
“I think it would benefit a lot of people, especially students. Like in Odessa College and UTPB, those kids need Wi-Fi to upload their school work too,” she said.