The 2009 Speed Matters survey ranked Texas 24th with an average download speed of 5.3 mbps, up from 4.0 mbps in 2008. Almost 10% of users were still getting dial-up from their ISP in 2007. The situation is improving, with large gaps in rural coverage for broadband internet services in 2000 being reduced to only some sparsely populated areas being without at least one broadband internet provider in 2007. It was estimated that 97% of Texas zip codes had at least four internet providers in 2007, although only 50% of urban and 37% of rural households subscribed to a broadband service.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) created the Texas Broadband Task Force to address the problem, with research showing that 173,000 jobs could be created and $52 million in healthcare costs saved annually by expanding internet service across the state. In July 2009, the TDA partnered with Connected Nation to create Connected Texas, with the aim of providing a broadband inventory map, the project being financed by federal stimulus funding.
In 2003, Navini Networks and Rioplex Wireless announced plans to deploy the world's largest non-line-of-sight wireless internet access network, covering 5,000 square miles in the Lower Rio Grande valley. Stelera Wireless launched its high speed HSPA service in two rural areas in 2008.
AT&T expanded its 3G network in 2008-9 and boosted its broadband service in 2009. Verizon also expanded its DSL service in 2009, making it available to a further 7,500 households. In December 2009, GVTC Communications launched the fastest service in South Texas, spending $35 million to bring its 40 mbps fiber optic cable to a further 31,000 customers. Wifi coverage remains spasmodic, with hotspots clustered around Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas and other urban areas, but large parts of the state with no coverage.
The Lone Star State is the second largest in terms of area and population. It has diverse landscapes and a varied climate, with hot summers and mild to cold winters. Texas has frequent thunderstorms, the most tornadoes of any state and destructive hurricanes.
The state has the most farms with the highest acreage in the US and is the leading producer of cattle, sheep, goat products, oil and cotton. Texas has a diverse economy that includes many high tech industries. The largest city is Houston, followed by San Antonio, Dallas and Austin, the state capital.
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Cities in Texas likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Garland, Lubbock, Irving, Laredo, Amarillo, Pasadena, Brownsville, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Abilene, Beaumont, Waco, Carrollton, McAllen and Wichita Falls. Locations in TX with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.