Broadband Summit Strives to Help Rural Areas

Governor Sandoval

Recently, Governor Brian Sandoval held the inaugural Broadband Summit at the Capitol Building.

While urban areas like Reno and Las Vegas have broadband infrastructure in place, many rural parts of the state are lagging behind.  Humboldt County School District Superintendent David Jensen says his schools have made strides in the past few years with things like WiFi, but they won’t be where they should be for another three to five years.

“The target is to have 800 megabytes per second for each student,” Jensen said. “When you look at Humboldt County, because of our limitations, we’re currently under 300.”

Four of Humboldt County’s 11 schools are considered remote rural. The hard part of getting broadband into those places is partly because of cost, terrain and distance.

The state’s budget includes $2 million for this type of infrastructure, but there is also $3.9 billion of federal funding available.  E-Rate Central is a program that provides discounts up to 90 percent to help rural schools and public libraries pay for broadband

The goal is to get these outlying school districts on the same level of technology as any other school in the country.

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