Nevada released its broadband availability map yesterday, the map aims to promote technology development and increase high-speed internet availability throughout the state. The map was funded through a grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and developed by the Connect Nevada initiative. The Connect Nevada initiative was supported by the Nevada Broadband Task Force which was created in 2009 to provide information on and development of broadband in state.
The broadband availability map will allow citizens to learn about the broadband resources available in their area, and will also highlight areas in the state where broadband is lacking. According to Governor Jim Gibbons, these gaps are were the government will work to increase access through public-private partnerships.
Connect Nevada was awarded $1.4 million for the project and used it to gather data on availability, speed, location and type of broadband services available as well as adoption rates and whether or not community institutions offered broadband. In total, the map contains data from 35 state providers which provide access for 97.29% of the households in the state to the minimum required levels of 768 kbps downstream, leaving a remaining 21,000 unserved. Of this 21,000, 14,541 are in rural areas. Connect Nevada will provide semi-annual updates to the map over a two year period and support planning efforts driven by the data over the next five years.
“The map and the technology which will follow will create jobs to construct these critical networks, establish employment opportunities where they never existed before, bring a new level of economic competitiveness, allow e-government to be more fully deployed, will lower taxes by lowering the cost of government, allow healthcare providers and caregivers to deliver world class services in every corner of the state, and most importantly, bring educational opportunities through distance-learning models for our children where such opportunities did not exist,” Governor Gibbons said of the project.
Map data is available through Connect Nevada’s BroadbandStat interactive mapping tool and will also be incorporated into the national broadband map at the NTIA will create as part of its Recovery Act requirements. The NTIA map will be available to the public by February 17, 2001.