The Broadband Initiative

Center Economic Development Corporation Partners with Etex for Broadband Expansion in Center, Texas

Enhancing Broadband Accessibility, Speed and Reliability for Our Community

Background and Challenges:
Center has long grappled with the challenge of securing reliable and affordable broadband internet. Despite available options over the past decade, the community has endured subpar services, characterized by slow speeds and frequent interruptions. High-quality options were often financially out of reach, leaving a significant gap in digital connectivity.

Community Efforts and Studies:
Recognizing the critical importance of internet access, the City of Center has actively engaged in broadband availability studies to pinpoint areas lacking adequate service. Time and again, these studies highlighted a substantial deficit in reliable broadband coverage within the city for business and residential needs.

Initial Steps and Challenges:
The Center Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has been at the forefront of addressing this digital divide. Despite reaching out to existing local providers and applying for state and federal funding, efforts to enhance existing networks faced setbacks, with no significant investments materializing.

A New Partnership Emerges:
In a pivotal move in Spring 2021, the Center EDC initiated discussions with Etex, a Gilmer, Texas-based telecommunications company. Known for its expanding fiber broadband network across 13 counties, Etex presented a promising partnership opportunity. This collaboration marked the beginning of a transformative private-public partnership, aiming to establish a robust fiber network in Center, Texas.

Self-Reliant Funding Approach:
With limited external funding options, the EDC and Etex explored various avenues, including regional partnerships and federal grants. Ultimately, the decision was made for the EDC to directly invest in the community, committing millions of dollars to a multi-year project to ensure a state-of-the-art network.

Progress and Phases of Implementation:

  • Spring 2023: Etex commenced the installation of a 'middle-mile' fiber, a crucial 26-mile stretch from Carthage to Center.
  • Fall 2023: Work began on laying underground fiber lines along major streets in Center.
  • By January 2024: Anticipated completion of the network, enabling residents and businesses to access new services.

Future Expansion:
The Etex fiber network expansion is planned in phases. The first phase aims to connect 100% of Center's businesses and up to 80% of residents. Subsequent phases will focus on extending the network to cover the entire city.

Getting Connected:
For service sign-ups and installation scheduling, please visit:


Center EDC welcomes Etex Communications

© City of Center  |  City Hall 617 Tenaha Street Center, TX 75935-3552  |  Phone: (936) 598-2941