87°F
weather icon Clear

Beatty to be in information hyperdrive by end of 2017

BEATTY Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval joined leaders of Valley Communications Association, Nye County School District and others packed the gymnasium at Beatty High School to announce the town will be the first all-fiber community in the Silver State.

“What matters to me is that regardless if you live in Beatty or in Las Vegas or in Reno or in all those other communities, that you have that same access to information and opportunity that every child in the state has,” Sandoval said during his keynote address at Beatty High School at 1 Hornet Ave. on Sept. 15, 2017.

Dozens of kids, state and local leaders and others are learning how getting information faster will help Beatty and other rural areas in the state. Beatty is on course to have an option for all of its citizens by the end of 2017.

During his address, Sandoval pointed to health care, education and small business as areas that could see improvement in Beatty.

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton, along with Thomas Husted, CEO of Valley Communications Association, also spoke about what the advancement means for the local region.

Valley Communications Association, a subsidiary of Valley Electric Association, was responsible for laying the fiber-optic lines.

Health care options

The health-care options for Beatty residents could be improved through telemedicine, which is defined as the practice of medicine by way of two-way voice and visual communications.

“This will allow all of you out here to have access to telehealth and have that connectivity to medical providers that you didn’t have before, so that you don’t have to take that big long drive to get the health care that you may need,” Sandoval said during his address.

This type of health-care communication has been growing in the state, through this and other initiatives, at both the medical facility and the individual level.

Insurers such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada launched telemedicine services to its insured just a few years ago. Anthem’s service, known as LiveHealth Online, is also available to anyone with an internet connection in Nevada.

Users pay a fee, under $50, and are connected to a doctor for nonemergency issues such as prescription refills and other medical ailments, if they aren’t insured through Anthem.

Medical facilities, such as Desert View Hospital, use fiber-optic connections, made possible through partnerships with Switch Communications and the Nevada Hospital Association.

The facility uses the technology to communicate with specialists in surrounding areas such as Las Vegas, possibly saving time to transport patients because information can be shared quickly, according to Susan Davila, CEO at Desert View Hospital.

Benefits for small business

Small business entities in Beatty will also benefit.

“Economic development opportunities will avail themselves because businesses not only want to, businesses need to, businesses must have high-speed communications in order to survive today,” Husted said.

Not only is high-speed internet a positive for local business growth and local patrons, but it can allow businesses to expand beyond local borders.

“From just going to a local business base, now, you’ll go to a global business base,” Sandoval said.

Impact on education

Education could be positively impacted.

“Any further education that kids can get outside the classroom, or in the classroom for that matter, will help,” Norton said during his address at the event.

One thing that many Beatty students will be glad for is uninterrupted testing.

The school is already hooked up to the fiber-optic connections that the rest of Beatty citizens will have the option of purchasing by the end of 2017, according to a news release from Valley Communications Association.

Students will also have access to information on the internet that might not have been previously available.

Pahrump next in line

The installation of a fiber-optic connection in the Beatty area started some time back with a partnership with Switch Communications, a large-scale data storage company, and Churchill County Communications in Fallon, along with Valley.

In 2012, Switch began construction on more than 450 miles of high-speed communication lines from Las Vegas to Reno, which mostly parallels U.S. Highway 95.

That collaboration is allowing for the fiber-optic communications growth in places such as Beatty, Amargosa Valley, Yerington, Hawthorne and other rural places in the state.

According to Ken Johnson, executive vice president of broadband services at Valley Electric, Pahrump is next on the radar for fiber-optic lines.

Johnson said the association also wants to expand the system to its current service area, which, on top of Beatty and Pahrump, includes Amargosa Valley, Sandy Valley and Fish Lake Valley.

Valley plans to spend roughly $100 million for its fiber build-out in its service area, which includes Beatty.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Business owner seeking toy donations for kids

A local man, along with his brother, are working to put smiles on children’s faces just in time for the Christmas season.

Angel Tree program accepting applications until Oct. 31

Each December as the year comes to a close, households all around the country begin to prepare for the most wonderful time of the year, the Christmas season, with boughs of holly, strings of garland, bright, cheerful lights and of course, Christmas trees festooned with decorations, all in anticipation of Christmas morning when children will race to unwrap presents and delight over the gifts they have received. But for families who may be facing financial troubles, the joy of the season can be lost in the burden of trying to find a way to put those presents under the tree.

Pahrump Fairgrounds detention basin contract awarded

Construction crews will be heading out to the Pahrump Fairgrounds sometime in the near future to undertake the next step in development at the site, with a detention basin and drainage ditches to set the stage for what is envisioned to one day become a major recreational destination in the valley.

Death Valley campgrounds now open for visitors

As cooler temperatures descend upon the Southwest, officials at Death Valley National Park recently announced the start of camping season.

Aviation art contest open to state’s youth

The Nevada Department of Transportation is inviting Nevada schoolchildren to participate in the National Association of State Aviation Officials’ art contest celebrating the ways in which aviation, hang gliding, hot air ballooning and other air sports connect people across the world.

Unemployment claims rise again, continued claims fall

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced Friday that initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 8,964 for the week ending Oct. 10, up 1,023 claims, or 12.9%, compared to last week’s total of 7,941 claims.

Registration now open for Poetry Out Loud contest

Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the Nevada Arts Council is proud to announce the 2021 Nevada Poetry Out Loud competition.

Extension town halls focus on PETS program grants

A new grant program opened Friday, making $20 million in COVID-19 relief funds available to Nevada businesses and some other organizations. The University of Nevada, Reno Extension will focus on explaining this program, the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support Grant, at its next online town hall to support small businesses across the state during the pandemic.

DETR taps Casselman for deputy director post

Jenny Casselman has been named as deputy director of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. Casselman’s official first day was Monday, Oct. 12.

State sends plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to CDC

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health announced Friday the submission of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook for Statewide Operations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.