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New Mexico to get $43M in new round of rural high-speed broadband funding

J.C. Burns
Via Flickr

The Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new round of funding Monday to support rural high-speed internet.

The $714 million in awards will fund 33 projects for affordable and reliable internet to many states.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said New Mexico will receive roughly $43 million divided equally between grants and loans.

“[This is] going to help nearly 1300 people, 36 businesses, nearly 700 farms and 3 educational facilities have access,” Vilsack said. 

According to EducationHighway, a nonprofit focused on closing educational gaps, 82,000 students across New Mexico lack reliable home internet –– including 12,700 in rural parts of the state.

Last year, the Federal government awarded $146 million specifically for internet on New Mexico’s tribal communities and another $100 million for the installation and expansion of rural internet service through the ReConnect program.

It’s part of President Joe Biden’s “Investing in America” initiative and funding will reach 18 other states with large disparities in internet access.

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