Upgrading McCamey, Texas: The Connected Plan that Help Lead to Positive Change

McCamey, TX (September 5, 2018) – In February of this year, the Upton County Broadband Committee released its Technology Action Plan. It took six months of work to develop. Once  complete it provided a comprehensive look at broadband and its related technologies across the county—including in McCamey, Texas.

“Connected Nation helped guide us through the process,” said Alicia Sanchez, Executive Director of McCamey Economic Development Corporation. “It was an eye-opener on what our community really needed. We actually now know the technology landscape instead of just guessing like we were before.”

McCamey is one of more than 300 communities across the country that has leveraged CN’s Connected Community Engagement Program (ConnectedSM). The program provides structured and comprehensive analysis of broadband landscape to develop community-specific Technology Action Plans.  For McCamey, the results were almost instantaneous.

“Shortly after we released the Technology Action Plan, this young man walked into our offices who does contracting and lays down fiber lines,” Sanchez said. “I told him about the survey and that we had learned most residents felt they needed high-speed internet and were underserved. There was a market for a company who would upgrade everyone’s service.”

That man was Clayton Walker, who then bought a local cable/internet company that was going-out-of-business—changing the name to C&J Cable, LLC. He moved the business into McCamey’s incubator offices and began working to upgrade the internet and cable systems across the area.

“He’s replacing everything—the whole system in McCamey,” Sanchez said. “I think the survey results were a big push for him to decide to open the business. Now, many of our residents are switching to C&J because they get high-speed internet and cable.”

It’s an important shift for the entire county of Upton. Especially when you consider the importance of broadband access, adoption, and use for not only residents but also business owners in the rural West Texas county.

“One important disconnect that we found in the Technology Action Plan for Upton County was that 59% of residents interact with businesses online,” said Tom Stephenson, a Community Technology Advisor for CN who worked directly with the local broadband team. “However, many local businesses—40%—did not have a website or communicate with customers online.”

Among other findings revealed in the final Technology Action Plan,100% of agriculture operations are using social media weekly for their businesses; 26% of residents regularly telework; and 12% of adults use the library to access the internet.

“When Clayton came in right after we did this survey I thought it was an answer from the Lord above,” Sanchez said. “All I’m hearing is that everyone is happy with the service—even my son. C&J is giving our residents and businesses the service they want and at the right price.”

To learn more about the Connected Community Engagement Program head to www.connectmycommunity.org.

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