Brownsville, Texas – Richard Hogue has been named President of BTX Fiber, the newly created internet service provider (ISP) that is building a fiber-based network that will make high-speed broadband service available throughout Brownsville and beyond.
After three years of planning, the project officially launched in October with plans to install 100 miles of middle-mile cable and another 500 miles of last-mile cable for the final connection to every home and business in the Brownsville community. Long-term plans are to expand the ISP’s network to other communities throughout the area.
Hogue has more than 20 years of telecommunications construction, installation, and management experience, including six years as a technical operations manager for Comcast in three states and two years as network operations director for digital communications provider Viya in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He most recently was general manager for Point Broadband in Hagerstown, Maryland, and is relocating to Brownsville.
“Brownsville is quite literally pushing out the leading edge in broadband internet availability to the community. BTX Fiber is thrilled to be crucial to this effort in partnership with the City of Brownsville and so many other critical stakeholders,” Hogue said.
Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez made closing the digital divide in Brownsville a priority after the city was twice named one of the least connected in the country.
Hogue said, “I personally am excited about the potential this rollout has to positively impact so many facets of life here in the Brownsville community and I’m looking forward to leading BTX Fiber as we build deep, new business and community relationships as well as a new internet network.”
BTX Fiber is a subsidiary of Lit Communities, a Birmingham, Alabama-based firm that takes communities through the research, planning, and installation steps of creating state-of-the-art fiber networks.
Brownsville has invested nearly $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to build the middle mile network. Lit Communities was co-founded in 2019 by Brownsville native Rene Gonzalez – now the company’s chief strategy officer – and has committed $70 million for the network’s fiber-to-the-premise buildout.
Other partners in the project include the Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, Greater Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, Port of Brownsville, Brownsville Independent School District, Texas Southmost College, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.