New effort underway to bring faster internet to east Las Vegas

Photo by: The Nevadan / El Nevadense

Tilson’s Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Broder and Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Díaz, Ward 3 — inspecting Tilson's infrastructure site on Oct 20

By Emilia Pablo

October 27, 2023

Life in the east side of Las Vegas can be difficult. Houses tend to be occupied by more than one family. People might not have medical insurance, car insurance, or legal documentation.

The struggle is real here and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the families living in East Las Vegas were some of the hardest hit. The pandemic also highlighted another struggle facing this community: the lack of affordable, high-speed internet at a time when the only way to communicate was online.

“We know that during the pandemic, many families, many students had to use the Internet and the speed of connectivity to make our day normal,” said Las Vegas Councilwoman Olivia Díaz, pointing to the fact that poor neighborhoods were out of luck.

That luck could soon change for the better, with the beginning of a new effort to build the infrastructure for a high-speed internet network in the community.

Tilson, a telecommunications tech company, arrived in town in 2018, but it wasn’t until October 19 that they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their biggest local project ever: laying fiber optic internet wiring underground in some of the most humble areas of Las Vegas.

The Nevada/El Nevadense had an exclusive ride-along with Tilson’s Chief Executive Officer Joshua Broder, as he gave Diaz a tour of the fiber optic cables inserted underground in the streets of Ward 3.

“Today, here we are inspecting how they are putting the infrastructure that will bring greater speed of connectivity to our neighborhoods, something that is ten times faster than what we currently have,” Díaz said, as she walked with a hard hat, fluorescent vest and protective glass and gloves.

“We have offered more than 200 jobs,” said Brendan Vargas, Tilson’s Director of Government and Community Affairs in Nevada, who was also part of the tour and inspection. “Good jobs for everyone. Our commitment is also to be part of the Nevada economy, because the Nevada economy is growing and growing.”

Broder, the CEO, expressed his enthusiasm about the company’s local investments.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the workforce that we’re building here in Las Vegas, which is diverse from the rest of the Las Vegas economy,” Broder said.

“This is about building fundamental infrastructure and employees that are working on this equipment [who] are getting the most modern, on-the-job education about the latest and greatest tools that we have at our disposal to make this as quickly and efficiently as possible,” he added

Broder emphasized the need to bring utility infrastructure into the community in a way that’s both sensitive and cost effective. Part of Tilson’s long-run vision is to create competition; which will lead to lower prices.

But ultimately, it will be up to internet providers to determine the cost of the service and how quickly it becomes available for residents.

  • Emilia Pablo

    Emilia Pablo Bazan is The Nevadan, El Nevadense Political Correspondent. She is an alumna from U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism with over 10 years of experience working in the television news industry. She's also a former speechwriter and press officer for the Obama administration and an Emmy award recipient.


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