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December 21, 2012
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County earns 'connected' status for broadband initiative

Douglas County has become Nevada's first "connected" community.

Since 2008, Connect Nevada has been working to expand broadband technology, using the motto "access, adoption and use."

Officials from Connect Nevada presented an award to county representatives at a ceremony Dec. 13.

"Being certified as an official 'connected' community is a huge step in the right direction for the future of Douglas County," said Tammy James, Douglas County Emergency Services Communications Manager and a member of the local "Connect Nevada" team.

"Our team will continue to work towards finding opportunities that can bring affordable and quality high-speed broadband services to Douglas County residents and business. Access to broadband services is a necessity for a prosperous community. Our team was dedicated to this project and appreciates the recognition by Connected Nation and Connect Nevada."

The Douglas team put together a 59-page report accessible online which details a comprehensive action plan for developing a technology-ready community.

The goal is to spread highspeed Internet across the state and make sure all Nevada residents have access.

Sixteen counties are involved in the Connect Nevada program but Douglas County is the first in the state to achieve the certification, and the second in the nation.

Lindsey Niedzielski, Connect Nevada program manager, said the Douglas plan unveiled Dec. 13 includes projects to expand digital literacy, build awareness for the benefits of broadband, and assist businesses with websites and social media.

"Connected" certification affords a community an avenue to discuss its success and pursue opportunities as a recognized, technologically advanced community, she said.

"This certification is a big stamp of success for the present and the future of Douglas County," she said. "As the first Nevada community to earn this certification, we're excited to see the beginning of a very important shift sweeping across our state. Through the initiative, Douglas County is the first of many Nevada communities that are ready to welcome a bright and prosperous future by making sure our state is ready to benefit from all the economic and lifestyle opportunities that the digital age provides. It's all part of Nevada's solid plans for future growth."

The Douglas technology team worked with Connect Nevada for seven months to assess the broadband landscape, identify gaps, and establish goals and objectives.

Niedzielski said the certification is an important benchmark as the team now phases into working its long-term community broadband plan.

Residents are also encouraged to get involved by joining their local Connected technology team and using the free Every Community Online,, program to get training in computer and Internet skills which makes them eligible for discounted computers and home Internet service.

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The Record Courier Updated Dec 22, 2012 01:09PM Published Dec 21, 2012 07:32PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.