This report gives us the information we need to build a sensible and immediate broadband action plan in Nevada
Carson City, NV (Vocus) October 20, 2010
Today, Nevada’s Broadband Task Force and the Connect Nevada initiative release a new statewide broadband assessment marking an important step in the effort to expand high-speed Internet service to all Nevadans. The report, titled Nevada Broadband: Preliminary Overview of Broadband Infrastructure & Adoption in Nevada, is now available on the Connect Nevada website http://www.connectnv.org and offers the state’s first look at critical research findings that are vital to efficient planning for Nevada’s broadband expansion efforts.
“Seeing the results of this report is very exciting – and very important to Nevada as we aim to make broadband a fundamental service in every household,” said Daphne DeLeon, chairperson of the Nevada Broadband Task Force and State Librarian.
The Nevada Broadband Task Force conducted the initial assessment of the state’s broadband landscape based on the data collected by Connect Nevada. The report and the foundation it lays for broadband expansion will have a sweeping impact on services across the state.
“This report gives us the information we need to build a sensible and immediate broadband action plan in Nevada,” said Brian Mefford, CEO of Connect Nevada’s nonprofit parent organization, Connected Nation. “The report shows us where and how high-speed Internet is and is not currently being used in the state and pinpoints the specific technical and adoption challenges that are keeping some Nevadans from the life-improving benefits that broadband brings.”
The report provides a detailed review of the current state of broadband in Nevada and is already sparking discussion among broadband stakeholders in the state on key goals and strategies to expand and enhance broadband service.
For instance, many Nevadans rely on the Internet to access critical healthcare options. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of Nevada Internet users (69%) search for health or medical information online, while 37% communicate with their health insurance company, and 30% interact with doctors or healthcare professionals online.
Ensuring Nevadans have a broadband connection in the home is a goal for Lynn O’Mara, state health information technology coordinator.
"Broadband connectivity is a significant factor in the successful implementation of health information technology statewide. It is vital for enabling the electronic exchange of health information between healthcare providers and facilities, for more efficient delivery of safe, quality care. The results of this report will be a key resource as the state of Nevada develops its health information exchange infrastructure," O’Mara said.
The report also notes that broadband adoption among rural residents is significantly lower than their urban or suburban counterparts.
“The Recovery Act broadband awards, exciting as they are, are just the beginning. For their value to be maximized to Nevada there is much need for coordination, information sharing, and training on how to utilize the capacity they will enable in our state. I am really pleased that Connect Nevada will be a lynchpin for us all in those efforts,” said Sarah Adler, state director, USDA Rural Development.
All Nevada residents are encouraged to visit the Connect Nevada website, http://www.connectnv.org, to join in this important initiative and offer feedback. The website gives residents a one-stop portal where they can find broadband providers at their address, check their current Internet speeds, notify officials of unserved areas, and share stories of how high-speed Internet has impacted their lives.
Connect Nevada is funded through a $3.9 million award by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to launch the initiative in the state and carry out the work over a five-year period. These funds are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
About Connect Nevada: As a public-private partnership, Connect Nevada partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities to accelerate technology in the state. The work of Connect Nevada is made possible by support from the Governor’s Office and the Nevada Broadband Task Force. For more information about what Connect Nevada is doing to accelerate technology in Nevada’s communities, visit http://www.connectnv.org.