Valley Communications continues to add to staff to meet demand

Valley Communications Association has continued bulk up its staff in order to keep pace with the expanding demand for wireless broadband service in the area.

VCA has already hooked up more 2,000 members and customers to its wireless broadband since June. That number is only set to grow, as Thomas Husted, CEO of Valley Electric Association, the parent company of VCA, said dozens more are signing up for the service every day.

“It is difficult to keep up with the overwhelming demand for broadband from our members, and we are very sensitive to the fact that the wait can be frustrating,” Husted said. “Our teams are working long days to get members connected as fast as we can. We are bringing on extra crews so that as we continue to get busier and busier, we have the resources to accommodate those eagerly awaiting services.”

VCA is also hiring additional broadband installers, which Husted estimated that the number of installers has already doubled to fulfill all the requests for service.

“We are even using additional contractors to help stay on schedule and meet the needs of current and future consumers not only in Pahrump, but in outlying districts as well,” he said.

Contractors have been brought in from outside of Pahrump, from areas including North Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho to perform preparatory work on power poles, which carry the fiber-optic cables for VCA.

“Because of the weight of the cable and clearance issues, some poles have had to be replaced,” said Matthew Moffitt, manager of engineering for VEA.

The contract crews have replaced some power poles to allow VEA and VCA linemen to perform service and maintenance on existing facilities.

Moffitt estimated that around 40 more contractors, mostly involved with broadband installation, will be brought in by the end of month. Additionally, VEA has 20 electrical contractors carrying out make-ready work as well.

In its infancy 15 months ago, VCA hired its first employee and now their staff sits at over 40 employees. Of the new hires, the majority of them are broadband installers, telecommunications fiber technicians, broadband coordinators and I.T. engineers.

With the increased demand for broadband service, it proved to be an economic boost for Nye County last year, according to Paul Miller, executive director of the Nye County Regional Economic Development Authority.

“You can’t underestimate the effect that is having,” Miller said. “First, you have a lot of hiring going on. As such, VCA was the fastest growing business in the county in 2016. The effect is similar to a new business with dozens of employees starting up in the area.”

Contact reporter Mick Akers at Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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