Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) announced that almost 8,000 rural New Mexico residents will gain high-speed internet access within the next three years as a part of the first phase of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) "Connect America Fund." Udall is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees telecommunications issues.
Broadband and telecommunications companies CenturyLink and Windstream will receive $2.3 million to build broadband infrastructure for New Mexico homes and businesses that currently lack high-speed internet access, connecting them to the $8 trillion global internet economy.
"Broadband is a platform for economic growth," said Udall. "High-speed internet should be available to all, so that everyone in New Mexico can take advantage of new technologies to grow their businesses and improve access to healthcare and education."
Currently, nearly 47 percent of New Mexico's rural population, or approximately 220,000 people, lack access to high speed internet.
In its first phase, the "Connect America Fund" will implement projects to expand the broadband infrastructure to rural areas in 37 states, which will provide nearly 400,000 homes and business with high-speed internet access.
The "Connect America Fund" aims to connect all 19 million unserved rural Americans by 2020.