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State announces more than $100m in final round of broadband funding

Governor Wilfred Herrera of Laguna pueblo speaks at an event on September 8, 2023
Alice Fordham
Governor Wilfred Herrera of Laguna pueblo speaks at an event on September 8, 2023

The state office of Broadband Access and Expansion announced more than $100 million for 11 projects designed to get fast internet to communities that lack it.

This is the final set of awards funded by the Connect New Mexico Pilot Program, funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The program is designed to address inequities by helping build better internet access in remote and underserved places, and the latest round of funding will benefit a number of tribal communities, including Santo Domingo and Jemez pueblos.

In the Pueblo of Laguna on September 8, officials held a small ceremony to celebrate a grant of more than $9 million which officials said would help pay for nearly 200 miles of cable, serving 1500 homes.

Governor Wilfred Herrera said this would change lives.

"Our people will now be the beneficiaries of a sustainable and capable network that will support telemedicine, remote work, economic development."

The plan is that an internet service provider controlled by the pueblo will build the infrastructure, the building is projected to take three years.

Alice Fordham joined the news team in 2022 after a career as an international correspondent, reporting for NPR from the Middle East and later Latin America and Europe. She also worked as a podcast producer for The Economist among other outlets, and tries to meld a love of sound and storytelling with solid reporting on the community. She grew up in the U.K. and has a small jar of Marmite in her kitchen for emergencies.
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