Recent News // News Release: Nevada Welcomes First Certified Connected Community
Douglas County proclaims commitment to economic development and quality of life with Connected community certification
Connect Nevada Program Manager Lindsey Niedzielski (left) and Technology Advisor Ariel Martinez (right) present Connected certification to Community Champion and Douglas County Emergency Services Communications Manager Tammy James Thursday at the Douglas County Emergency Operations Center in Minden.
Minden, NV – Douglas County, Nevada is officially a Connect Nevada certified Connected community. Sixteen counties are currently involved in some stage of the Connected program, but Douglas County is the state’s first to achieve the official Connected certification.
The occasion was marked with a public event Thursday at the Douglas County Emergency Operations Center in Minden. The Douglas County Technology Team was presented with its official Connected trophy and a road sign from the Nevada Department of Transportation announcing the community’s official designation.
“Being certified as an official Connected community is a huge step in the right direction for the future of Douglas County,” said Community Champion and Douglas County Emergency Services Communications Manager Tammy James. “Our team will continue to work towards finding opportunities that can bring affordable and quality high-speed broadband services to Douglas County residents and businesses. 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.”
Douglas is only the second community in the nation to earn the certification. Developed by Connected Nation, the Connected program entails building a comprehensive action plan for developing a technology-ready community by reviewing the technology landscape, developing regional partnerships, establishing local teams, and conducting a thorough community assessment. The broadband coverage of the area was measured using Connect Nevada’s broadband availability maps and survey research.
The Douglas County Technology Action Plan unveiled at the event includes projects to expand digital literacy, build awareness for the benefits of broadband, and assist businesses with websites and social media, as well as improving the online presence of local governments, among other entities. Connected certification affords a community an avenue to discuss its success and pursue opportunities as a recognized, technologically advanced community.
“This Connected certification is a big stamp of success for the present and the future of Douglas County,” said Connect Nevada State Program Manager Lindsey Niedzielski. “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 Connected 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.”
Douglas County’s Connected certification comes after seven months of the local Technology Team working with Connect Nevada to assess the broadband landscape, identify gaps, and establish actionable goals and objectives. The certification is an important benchmark as the team now phases into working its newly established 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. Residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the community technology profile on the website and help project leaders populate a directory of technology assets in the county.
The Connected program is part of the Connect Nevada initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA State Broadband Initiative (SBI) program. Connect Nevada is working to facilitate the access, adoption, and use of technology throughout the state to create a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, more efficient government, enhanced education, and improved quality of life.
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About Connect Nevada: The Governor’s Office and the Nevada Broadband Task Force are leading the initiative to increase broadband Internet access, adoption, and use across the state. Connect Nevada is a nonprofit organization that was commissioned by the state to work with all Nevada broadband providers, create detailed maps of current broadband coverage, and coordinate efforts with other Federal grant award recipients in the state. Connect Nevada is now supporting the development of a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband. The goal is to spread high-speed Internet across the state and make sure all Nevada residents have access to its life-changing benefits. For more information visit: www.connectnv.org.