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New rural broadband funding will connect over 40,000 homes and businesses

Jr. Panela
Universidade Federal do Ceará

The White House and U.S. Treasury have announced yet another round of funding to expand internet access in New Mexico and Colorado’s tribal and rural communities.

The money comes from a spinoff project of the Biden Administration's American Rescue Plan called the Capital Projects Fund — meant to address spotty internet access that became so obvious during the pandemic.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham was joined in a briefing by Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis to announce $117 million dollars to connect over 40,000 homes and businesses to high speed internet in New Mexico alone.

“Every household, every family, every business has an equal opportunity to succeed. And that means access to education, healthcare, business opportunities," Lujan Grisham said. "None of those can be realized without affordable, high speed access to the internet."

That’s in addition togrants announced this summer totaling nearly $150 million going to New Mexico’s tribal communities, and another $100 million from the United States Department of Agriculture for installation and expansion of internet services.

Another aspect of this plan would provide a discount of up to $30 a month ($75 a month per household on Tribal lands) for qualifying New Mexicans to afford high-quality internet access through the Affordable Connectivity Program.

The White House estimates around 40% of U.S. households are currently eligible.

Bryce Dix is our local host for NPR's Morning Edition.
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