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Humboldt County Group Forms to Expand Broadband in Area

13 July 2011

Winnemucca, NV – Local leaders in Humboldt County have joined Connect Nevada’s statewide initiative to expand broadband adoption and use. The leaders met Tuesday to form a local advisory committee in support of the effort to increase technology use in the county.

The local planning teams are organized by Connect Nevada, a non-profit that is working to accelerate the availability and use of technology throughout the state to create a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education, and more efficient government.

Lindsey Niedzielski, program coordinator for Connect Nevada, presented to the Humboldt Development Authority (HDA) board at its meeting Tuesday. She was on hand to help local leaders begin the process of forming a regional planning team for Humboldt County. The team will eventually be responsible for decisions about how to increase broadband use among all area homes and businesses.

“High-speed Internet enables access to quality jobs, information, and vital services ranging from interactive telemedicine to higher education,” says Niedzielski. “Connect Nevada, with the support of the Nevada Broadband Task Force, is undertaking the important work of grassroots regional planning to grow and expand technology use in our communities. We are thrilled that Humboldt County leaders are working with us.”

Connect Nevada in collaboration with the Governor’s Broadband Task Force is working with broadband providers and other public and private partners to speed up the expansion of broadband in unserved and underserved areas. The organization is pinpointing remaining gaps in Nevada’s broadband availability and supporting the development of a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of technology.

According to Connect Nevada’s latest broadband availability research from the Nevada Broadband: Preliminary Overview of Broadband Infrastructure & Adoption in Nevada report:

• Approximately 22%, or one-fifth, of households in Nevada have broadband available, but for various reasons do not subscribe. Connect Nevada is working to raise the awareness of broadband’s benefits so that more residents will get online

• In Humboldt County, 95% of households have access to the minimum 768 Kbps download speed service, while 53% of Humboldt County has 3 Mbps download speed service available

Humboldt County has approximately 5,733 households and relies heavily on fixed wireless and mobile broadband services with significantly less cable and DSL services available. There is currently no fiber service available. This puts the county slightly below the state average in broadband availability.

• Percentage of Humboldt County households served by broadband technology platform:
o Cable – 63.69%
o DSL – 62.69%
o Fiber – 0%
o Fixed Wireless – 86.6%
o Mobile Wireless – 97.51%

Community involvement is key to expanding broadband and the Connect Nevada program has several ways for people to get involved. The Connect Nevada website offers several free tools to the public to improve their Internet connection. At www.connectnv.org, users can check their current Internet speeds and request broadband service in their area. Nevada’s broadband map is also available. The map is fully interactive and allows visitors to find information about broadband providers, types of services available, and search for service at their specific address.

If you have suggestions regarding how technology in your community can be improved to better serve the citizens of your county, Connect Nevada wants to hear from you. To learn more or to submit your comments or ideas, please visit the Connect Nevada website at www.connectnv.org or contact Niedzielski at (775) 343-9600 or lniedzielski@connectnv.org.

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About Connect Nevada: The Governor’s Office and the Nevada Broadband Task Force are leading the initiative to increase broadband Internet access and information about availability throughout Nevada and to ensure sustainability. Connect Nevada is a non-profit organization that was commissioned by the state to work with all Nevada broadband providers to create detailed maps of broadband coverage in order to accurately pinpoint remaining gaps in broadband availability as well as to coordinate efforts with other Federal grant award recipients in the state. Connect Nevada is now supporting the development of a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband. The goal is to spread high-speed Internet across the state and make sure all Nevada residents have access to its life-changing benefits. For more information visit: www.connectnv.org.