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Cooke County Will Seek New Broadband Bids

The county's broadband committee is writing a new RFP for spending of federal dollars.

The Cooke County Commissioners Court wants to expand broadband to its underserved corners.

The court’s broadband advisory committee is working on new language for a request for bids to provide better Internet service. The group met with Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Hollowell, Precinct 4 Commissioner Matt Sicking and County Auditor Shelly Atteberry last week and pitched a new approach.

Cooke County has about $2.7 million left over from federal stimulus dollars distributed to the county over the last two years. Hollowell recently recommended that some of the money could be used for broadband, as well as to retire an outstanding note for fiber-optic work.

A new request for proposals (RFP) will offer vendors the chance to bid on fiber networking, wireless networking or a combination.

Hollowell said Monday he expected to get the new RFP proposal back in early February, then give it to the rest of the court and others who would be able to look it over and make suggestions.

Commissioners appointed the broadband committee in 2022 to study how best to extend affordable, high-speed Internet to underserved parts of the county, including Callisburg and the banks of the Red River.

The committee’s later recommendations included proposed partnerships with Nortex and wireless provider Nextlink to provide 100MB download service to about 92 percent of the county's homes and businesses. The new request for bids will replace that recommendation.

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