Luján Welcomes Over $5.7 Million In Broadband Funding For New Mexico
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) announced two grant awards to the State of New Mexico for broadband infrastructure and digital equity programs to help connect families to affordable, resilient, and secure broadband across New Mexico. This $5.0 million in funding through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program and over $700,000 through the Digital Equity Program will assist with planning to close the digital divide and enable more New Mexico communities to participate in the digital economy.
This is the first broadband infrastructure funding awarded to the State of New Mexico by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Last year, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, Senator Luján worked to secure $65 billion in broadband funding to bridge the digital divide in rural and Tribal communities and get New Mexico closer to 100% connectivity. In December, Luján convened his final hearing focused on creating solutions to meet America’s broadband needs.
“In this digital age, affordable access to high-speed and reliable internet is critical for work, education, and healthcare,” said Senator Luján. “This strong investment from the NTIA is a step forward in bridging the digital divide in New Mexico by establishing a strategic plan to deploy broadband infrastructure across the state and get our communities connected.”
Background: The initial $740,534 for NTIA’s Digital Equity Program provides federal funds for the State to develop a Statewide Digital Equity Plan and to assess and analyze the needs for digital equity for all in New Mexico. The initial $5 million for NTIA’s BEAD Program will support the State of New Mexico in planning and pre-deployment activities including research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations.