Home>702Times>More Funding is Being Set Aside to Improve Internet Infrastructure Across the State of Nevada

More Funding is Being Set Aside to Improve Internet Infrastructure Across the State of Nevada

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, May 21, 2024 8:57 pm

On Tuesday, Governor Joe Lombardo announced the creation of the Nevada Middle Mile Network, which will receive $250 million in funding.

“This significant investment will enhance internet connectivity in communities across Nevada that have struggled with inadequate internet access,” Lombardo said in a press release. “By addressing these critical gaps, we are ensuring that all Nevadans have the opportunity to benefit from reliable and fast internet service.”

According to state officials, the Nevada Middle Mile Network is a 2,500-mile open-access fiber optic network. This funding will “significantly expand network capacity between urban areas of Nevada and throughout rural regions across the state.” The network aims to deliver internet access to over 40,000 locations that are currently unserved or underserved.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology (OSIT) has created a map highlighting these areas. In southern Nevada, there are 497 miles of existing networks, with plans for expansion shown on the map. (For context, dark blue areas indicate existing lines, while green, orange, and light blue areas show where new lines could be placed.)

You can see the full map by clicking here.

The funding announced on Tuesday supplements over $416 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. State officials told Channel 13 that the Middle Mile Network will support successful BEAD implementation by providing affordable wholesale internet bandwidth to local retail internet service providers.

So what does that mean? The Middle Mile Network funding will be used to connect communities, while BEAD funding will help connect individual homes.

According to OSIT, Middle Mile projects have already begun. Federal officials have approved Nevada’s initial BEAD proposals, determining eligible locations for funding. BEAD projects are scheduled to begin next year, pending additional federal approvals.

“Once the subgrantee process concludes, OSIT will submit a final proposal to NTIA, which will describe how we implemented the initial proposal, how we selected subgrantees, and our plans to connect everyone to the Internet. Then, we’ll be ready to put shovels in the ground and start deployment,” Brian Mitchell, the Director of OSIT, said last month. “We’re really proud to be among the first states approved. That will help us get folks connected as soon as possible.”

Credits: KTNV

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