Nevada's average download speed for internet service was 5.7 mbps in 2009, up from 4.5 mbps in 2008 and putting it above the US average and in 21st place. Around two thirds of households had internet access in 2007, with over 10% still on dial up from their ISP. Availability is not evenly spread, with 29% of Native American Tribal Lands having no access to broadband internet services. Moves are being made to address this through NTIA funding, although there are disagreements on whether this should concentrate on providing a broadband service to anchor institutions such as libraries or focus on a high speed service to homes.
The Nevada Broadband Task Force has been established to improve the infrastructure for broadband service, especially for rural heath centers, hospitals and other state organizations. It named Connected Nation as its designated eligible entity and received funding of $1.4 million from the NTIA in December 2009. This is to be used to map availability, with GIS technology being employed to combine data supplied by internet providers to create a complete picture of gaps in coverage. The resulting maps will then provide the basis for further funding applications.
The Nevada map shows wireless internet access being unevenly spread. There are wifi hotspots around Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City but very little elsewhere. In some cases, this is due to the terrain, with the number of hills and trees making the service impracticable, while DSL and fiber optic cable are scarce due to low population. Nevertheless, internet provider Comcast announced the expansion of its 3G network in December 2009, promising stiff competition for the Nevada County Connected project that has applied for a $13 million stimulus grant.
Best known for its legalized gambling, Nevada also has easy marriage and divorce proceedings and legalized brothels in some counties. The state is mostly desert with a semi-arid climate. Tourism is important, with mining and cattle ranching being major activities.
Around 86% of the state's land is owned by the federal government and over 85% of the population lives in the metropolitan areas of Las Vegas and Reno. The state capital is Carson City and the largest cites are Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and Reno.
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Cities in Nevada likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Reno, Sunrise Manor, Paradise and Spring Valley. Locations in NV with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.