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Work underway on all-fiber link to Las Vegas, Reno

Rural Nevada residents received some good news this week when e-Care Nevada and the Nevada Hospital Association said aerial construction has begin on the Nevada Broadband Telemedicine Initiative — the only all-fiber, public-use network of its kind to link Las Vegas and Reno.

Construction will begin in Goldfield with crews working in both directions toward Las Vegas and Reno.

The telemedicine initiative will allow for state-of-the-art telemedicine applications and advanced broadband access to rural Nevada.

“NBTI will allow us to serve patients in Nevada with 21st century, telemedicine applications,” Bill Welch, Nevada Hospital Association president, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The goal of our member healthcare facilities has always been to provide patients with the best possible care using the latest technology available in the healthcare industry,” Welch said. “We feel this network is the next step in living out that goal.”

The NBTI is partially funded by a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act passed in 2009. Those grants have resulted in investment of $4 billion in advanced broadband projects across the country.

This grant offered a public-private partnership, with the hospital association receiving the federal grant and e-Care providing the matching, private funds to complete and run the network.

“We are excited to enter into the next phase of this project,” Mike Urdahl, president of e-Care Nevada, said in the statement. “We look forward to seeing this network completed and have the opportunity to serve Nevada residents for many years to come.”

E-Care Nevada is a subsidiary of Pinpoint and will manage the Nevada Broadband Telemedicine Initiative. Currently under construction, the statewide network will be the only public-use network to connect Reno and Las Vegas.

The Nevada Hospital Association will use the network to link rural healthcare facilities with next-generation telemedicine applications while serving rural communications companies, education centers and government organizations.

Contact Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273. Find him on Twitter: @bicyclemansnel

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