Office of Senator Luján Hosts FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, Local Advocates for Broadband Roundtable

Roundtable Brings Together Local Leaders to Discuss Historic Broadband Investments

Albuquerque N.M. – This week, the Office of U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) hosted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque for a roundtable discussion with the Connect New Mexico Council on investments for broadband and telecommunications made possible by the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Senator Luján fought to expand the Affordable Connectivity Benefit which makes broadband more affordable for 785,000 New Mexicans, in addition to at least $100 million that New Mexico is expected to receive for broadband buildout.

Following the roundtable, Senator Luján’s office and Commissioner Carr toured Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico. Project ECHO has a proven track record of training health care providers in rural and underserved areas and expanding access to quality health care to the farthest corners of our country. Senator Luján has long been a proponent of telehealth services and highlighted Project ECHO in his subcommittee hearing last year.

Photos for use are available HERE.

“Reliable, affordable broadband was already important before the COVID-19 pandemic threw so much of our lives online. As we continue to address the pandemic, our reliance on internet connectivity shows no sign of stopping” said Senator Luján, Chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband. “New Mexicans understand how vital broadband services are for our everyday lives, ranging from students completing their schoolwork to emergency responders relaying lifesaving medical information during emergencies. That’s why I’m proud to join FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and other advocates to ensure all New Mexicans and Americans have robust access to broadband services to enable their success.”

“Senator Luján is leading efforts in Washington to end the digital divide, which continues to persist in too many communities across New Mexico and the country. Thanks to new investments, we now have a unique opportunity to ensure that every American has access to an affordable, high-speed connection.  I appreciate the chance to join Senator Luján’s staff in New Mexico today to hear directly from stakeholders on this topic. Events like this are key to ensuring that we direct FCC resources and funding to those communities that have been left behind for far too long,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.

Additional panelists included Matt Schmit, New Mexico Broadband Advisor; Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Santa Fe Indian School & Interim Chair of Connect NM Council; Luis Reyes, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative & Vice Chair of Connect NM Council; Launa Waller, Plateau Telecommunications, Member of Connect NM Council; Jeremy Lovato, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Member of Connect NM Council; Matt Probst, El Centro Family Health – Las Vegas; Jennifer Case Nevarez, Community Learning Network; Duane Arruti, University of New Mexico.



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