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New Mexico receives $675 million for broadband expansion from federal government

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(The Center Square) – The federal government is providing New Mexico with more than $675 million to expand broadband access.

The funding comes from the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The state will submit a plan to the federal government by the end of the year outlining how it will spend the federal funding.

“It is no accident that this funding made up the largest percentage of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; broadband projects are incredibly expensive and a vital part every aspect of our lives,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a press release issued by her office. “This funding empowers New Mexico to continue to bridge the digital divide and create equal opportunities for our residents. I’m grateful to President Biden and New Mexico’s Congressional delegation for their roles in securing this funding for our state.”

New Mexico will focus on broadband expansion in underserved communities, schools, healthcare facilities, and tribal lands, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, said the funding will help ensure that every part of New Mexico has access to high-speed internet.

“Expanding access to high-speed internet improves the quality of education our students receive, makes health care more accessible and affordable, strengthens public safety, and grows our economy,” Heinrich said in a press release issued by his office. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I fought hard to pass into law, we are delivering $675 million — one of the largest single investments in broadband in our state’s history — to develop the infrastructure needed to connect New Mexicans in every corner of our state to these vital services.”

Nearly one-quarter of New Mexico households (23%) currently lack reliable internet access, according to the governor’s office.

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