N.M. Delegation Announces Over $1.5 Million in Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grants￼
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) announced a total of $1,504,234 in Outreach Grants from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Created by the Infrastructure Law, the ACP provides qualifying low-income households discounts on broadband service and connected devices and supports partner organizations serving as trusted community messengers about the program.
“As the Senate negotiated the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I was proud to fight to expand the Affordability Connectivity Program to make internet access more affordable for more than 785,000 New Mexicans. Regardless of zip code, New Mexicans must have access to this essential service for work, education, and access to health care,” said Luján. “As Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, expanding broadband access to all New Mexico communities is a top priority. I am proud to welcome this critical funding to the City of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Black Leadership Council, and the Pueblos of Jemez and Zuni. This funding will bring us one step closer to reaching 100% connectivity.”
“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is a necessity for participating in today’s economy, completing homework assignments, accessing telehealth services, and so much more,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud that the Infrastructure Law is delivering on its promise to ensure more New Mexicans have the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century. This federal funding will support community partners in New Mexico as they expand awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program and bring these essential services to more households.”
“Broadband is basic infrastructure. As a co-chair of the Bipartisan Rural Broadband caucus, connectivity is essential for our families to work, learn, and stay healthy,” said Leger Fernández.“These grants from the FCC will help spread awareness that Congress passed legislation to help every New Mexican afford reliable internet or purchase a connected device. We cannot stop until every New Mexican has access to high-speed, affordable internet.”
“Affordable, high-speed internet is fundamental to supporting our economy, providing every young person with a quality education, ensuring our communities can access quality health care, and so much more,” said Stansbury. “I’m proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering for New Mexico with over $1.5 million to raise awareness of the essential benefits available to New Mexicans through the Affordable Connectivity Program’s discounted internet services.”
“Affordable, high-speed internet is one of life’s necessities and in NM-02, 42 percent of households still do not have high-speed broadband internet connection. I’m proud to see federal investments supporting internet affordability in our district,” said Vasquez. “Lowering the cost of internet services is an important first step to expanding opportunities for success for all New Mexicans in school, work and life.”
The FCC has awarded funding to the following:
- $400,000 to the City of Albuquerque from the National Competitive Outreach Program
- $400,000 to the New Mexico Black Leadership Council from the National Competitive Outreach Program
- $379,234 to the Pueblo of Jemez from the Tribal Competitive Outreach Program
- $325,000 to the Pueblo of Zuni from the Tribal Competitive Outreach Program
The ACP Outreach Grant Program provides eligible governmental and non-governmental entities with the funding and resources needed to increase awareness of and participation in the ACP among those eligible households most in need of affordable connectivity.
The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.