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September 21, 2014

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Gigabit Internet will be a speedy game-changer for Las Vegas and Nevada

Our state sits at a critical juncture in which leaders at all levels must make a serious commitment to economic diversification. Nevada has a wealth of assets to help foster this diversity, one of which is the tech community that has built a successful foundation in Las Vegas over the past decade.

Because this foundation has taken hold, and because of recent developments and strong investments in local technology infrastructure by visionary business leaders, I strongly believe Las Vegas is primed to fulfill its full potential as the premier technology and business hub in the southwest. A main driving force behind my sense of spirit is the rapid growth of gigabit fiber Internet infrastructure throughout Las Vegas. This technology is all the buzz in major cities across the United States, and Las Vegas is among those cities implementing next-generation broadband infrastructure.

When CenturyLink first introduced its one-gigabit-per-second fiber Internet to Las Vegas last fall, I was astounded to hear our valley would be one of the first in the U.S. to have access to Internet speeds that are 100 times faster than average broadband. When I heard the time and capital-intensive investment CenturyLink will continue making to grow their gigabit network, I knew this would be a major development that sets the foundation for future economic growth in Nevada.

We can leverage gigabit Internet services, such as CenturyLink’s, to recruit new businesses to Nevada via this ultrafast Internet pipeline and tout the opportunity to cut business costs through the use of premier technology. We can grow the tech sector to help diversify our economy while also providing attractive resources for small businesses in any sector. We can arm work-from-home small business owners or telecommuting employees with the ability to move massive data files in seconds and download them just as quick to maximize efficiency. We can allow our local small business community to thrive through next-generation technology advancements that showcase our city as a second-to-none business destination.

The business prospects aren’t the only exciting part of gigabit Internet. After I heard one-gigabit-per-second internet will let me seamlessly stream multimedia movies and songs, have video calls with friends and family in other cities without fear of choppy connections, and enjoy instantaneous downloads and uploads of my photos and videos to social media, I can’t wait to get this service in my own home. What’s just as exciting is that my entire family can all be doing these things on our network at the same time and there will be no slowdown in the Internet — a constant source of argument among my family.

All of these reasons are why I say these investments will be a game-changer. Our city leaders have established Las Vegas as a constant innovator, and our growing gigabit Internet network is the type of infrastructure enhancement that will position Las Vegas for positive economic growth and new levels of success.

Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, is speaker of the state Assembly.

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