One of the problems that Texarkana suffers from is not having its own national network affiliated television station located in Texarkana. This does not allow us to develop a sense of community that would flourish if we had one. Another option would be to have a wireless city wide high speed internet system (Wimax). Corpus Christi has recently completed installation of their city- wide high speed internet system. Some other cities have sold off their citywide systems due to the costs for a citywide build out and or the lack of revenue. In 2005, a city sponsored wireless internet system was discussed by Texarkana Water Utilities (TWU).
A pilot project was proposed for the neighborhoods around Spring Lake Park but did not materialize due to costs and changing technology. As of February 24, 2009 revisions to the Texarkana Texas Parks Master Plan are proposing wireless internet hot spots in all of the parks. This may not happen immediately, but it is under discussion and would be a real benefit for the parks. A citywide WiMax would integrate perfectly with what Texas A & M is doing on the north side of Texarkana. Some of the obvious benefits to TWU would be meters that would automatically send readings for the month without the need for a meter reader.
AEP and Centerpoint Energy could also benefit from automatic meter reading transmitted by citywide Wimax. Fire, police and centrally dispatched public and private service personnel could become part of this system, along with banks, credit unions, hospitals, and schools. In short, anybody or any business that is paying for a high speed internet access today is a possible customer. Discussion with other cities that have installed a city WiMax system needs to be initiated. After this, a feasibility study needs to be completed to determine if a high speed wireless system will be well used and cost effective for our community
Do you see a benefit for citizens and businesses in Texarkana with a city wide high speed internet system?
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Ubiquitous high speed wireless internet access is inevitable. How it happens and how soon is still up for grabs but I was in a meeting with Google reps last week who told us that they have invested heavily in WiMax provider Clearwire and Clearwire has been building infrastructure all over Texas. The nearest community to us is Longview but they are already in, of all places, Amarillo, Abilene, Witchita Falls, and Midland/Odessa. I don't know how you go about influencing Clearwire to move into Texarkana next but I think, with the new 4 year University and the new emphasis on Mathmatics and Engineering, we need to be early adopters of this enabling technology.
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