The Connected Nation Blog: NACO’s Land of Opportunity

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NACO’s Land of Opportunity

By Lindsey Niedzielski, Program Manager, Connect Nevada

Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) members are feeling a new surge of purpose and hope after the organization’s annual conference. The event was held on September 21 in Churchill County and was capped by a guest speaker with a powerful and inspiring message, especially in light of the tough economic times Nevada has been facing.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch
The resonating theme of Lt. Col. (ret.) Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch’s speech was centered on the point that America still represents a land of opportunity. As a child of an immigrant father, Lt. Col Kickbusch challenged the audience to remember the value of family and community, especially among people who feel the most economic hardship. His point was especially relevant as we start to look at the challenges faced by citizens, especially children, without adequate access to broadband. Lower income and minority households are often the ones sitting on the “other side” of the digital divide.

In fact, a study by Connected Nation discovered:
  • Only 37% of low-income minority households with children have broadband at home
  • Only 46% of all low-income households with children have broadband at home
  • Estimates show that 17 million children do not have broadband at home, and that 7.6 million of them live in low-income households
  • 40% of low-income households do not own a computer, compared to 9% of all other households

It is statistics like these that are driving Connect Nevada’s purpose to bridge the digital divide and connect all Nevadans to quality broadband and the opportunities it provides. With better broadband access, adoption, and use, Nevada truly is a limitless land of opportunity where the American dream is still alive and well.