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Broadband

An image of a mountain biking trail in the forest
U.S. Forest Service-Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest / Facebook

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of June 23, 2021.

The digital divide in the Mountain West stretches across vast swaths of rural, urban and Native lands and disproportionately affects residents in low-income brackets and people of color. But as federal pandemic relief dollars start flowing into state coffers, the cash is opening up opportunities to dramatically expand broadband access in Western communities and beyond.

A water tower on top of a hill with leafless trees and a power line behind it.
Michael Cramer / Flickr Creative Commons

Senate Democrats are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to expedite progress on broadband connectivity in Native communities. 

Hades2K / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tahoe businesses and families are struggling as a result of slow internet, according to a recent poll by the Tahoe Prosperity Center. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt has more on that story.

At first blush, bringing high-speed internet to Tahoe sounds like a pet project for the wealthy. But Heidi Hill Drum, executive director of the Tahoe Prosperity Center, sees it differently.

"The Lake Tahoe Unified School district every child from third to 12th grade is given a netbook to use to do their homework but so many in our community don't have access to internet at home."

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.

High-tech industries moving to Nevada demand a skilled workforce. That’s why Governor Brian Sandoval’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology is back up and running again to address the state’s job market needs. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has the details.