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Heller Wants Rural Broadband Delays Nixed

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Getting broadband access to rural parts of the Silver State can take up to several years.  One big roadblock is government delays. Earlier this week, Nevada Senator Dean Heller asked Congress to speed things up. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports.

Heller introduced an amendment to a bill that seeks to bolster broadband across the nation. Speaking at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transporation hearing, Heller says government agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, which manages more than 80 percent of the land in Nevada, should cut the red tape.  

“It’s taken years, years to get that out there, primarily because of how long it took to get the applications approved by both the BLM and the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” Heller says.

Heller wants to impose a so called “shot clock” which would streamline approval of easements and right-of-ways for the installation of fiber optic cables. Congress could be voting on the bill this year.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.