Group Forms to Expand Broadband in Humboldt County, Nevada

By Jeremy Thacker, Communications Specialist, Connected Nation/Connect Nevada

Local leaders in Humboldt County are laying the groundwork to create new jobs and boost the economy across northeast Nevada. The Humboldt Development Authority (HDA) board has officially joined Connect Nevada’s statewide initiative to expand broadband adoption and use in its region. The leaders met Tuesday in Winnemucca to form a local advisory committee in support of the effort to increase technology use.

The local planning teams are organized by Connect Nevada. The nonprofit 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.

Connect Nevada’s program coordinator presented to the HDA board at its meeting. Lindsey Niedzielski explained the process of forming a regional planning team. The team will eventually be responsible for decisions about how to increase broadband use among all area homes and businesses through public and private partnerships.

“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.”

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:
– Cable – 63.69%
– DSL – 62.69%
– Fiber – 0%
– Fixed Wireless – 86.6%
– Mobile Wireless – 97.51%

Connect Nevada has partnered with the Governor’s Broadband Task Force and is working with broadband providers to speed up the expansion of broadband in unserved and underserved areas. The organization is pinpointing remaining gaps in Nevada’s broadband availability.

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