Improving New Mexico’s internet connectivity.
Viante’s Broadband Approach
For years now, New Mexico has not performed well in terms of its internet connectivity. New Mexico ranks behind its neighboring states at 42nd in the nation for broadband coverage, with as much as 22 percent of the population unserved. Over the past decade, state lawmakers have taken steps toward improving New Mexico’s low standing in broadband, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the state’s internet access and speed deficiencies as children learn online and remote work grows. It has become clear that there are large gaps and strain in our existing network. New Mexico has the research and plan needed to improve our broadband situation. Now, we need a coordinated effort to adapt to and improve New Mexican’s everyday lives. Viante New Mexico is taking a new approach to looking at broadband to encourage bipartisanship, broad impact, and collaboration.
Following the review of the last 10 years of New Mexico broadband studies, reports and introduced legislation, Viante developed a set of nonpartisan, common ground criteria to ensure both positive impacts and results.
This map represents the broadband internet coverage area for New Mexico. The yellow shows the areas unserved by broadband across the entire state. Source: State of New Mexico Broadband Strategic Plan and Rural Broadband Assessment.
The proposal will direct the state broadband entity to coordinate with communities, companies and anchor institutions to secure state and federal funding for comprehensive broadband improvement and implementation.
Viante has partnered with a wide range of businesses, industry groups, and professionals representing over thousands of New Mexicans in our effort to encourage our state legislators to work together to address New Mexico’s broadband challenges and opportunities. This multidisciplinary group recognizes that the improvement of, and access to adequate broadband is important to each of their interest groups because broadband has found its way into each of our daily lives.
What People Are Saying
“Luján said it is important to keep the connectivity issue on the front burner because 1 in 4 students lacks a reliable or any internet connection. He added that his role on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will help him be a voice in confronting the challenges of providing internet access in rural areas.”
– The Santa Fe New Mexican “New Mexico making gains toward bridging digital divide in education“, February 17, 2021
“We don’t need to talk about the need; we need to talk about the how — how are we going to do this?”
– Rep. Natalie Figueroa, D-Albuquerque regarding broadband bill, HB10, in the Santa Fe New Mexican
“Access to high-speed internet connection is increasingly necessary to communicate, conduct business, and provide education and healthcare services, yet New Mexico lags behind the rest of the nation in broadband connectivity… The state’s efforts at coordinating among a wide array of stakeholders have lacked a strong structure, continuity, and accountability.”
– New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee “Program Evaluation: Funding, Oversight, and Coordination of Broadband Programs“, November 1, 2019
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the lack of broadband access in low-income and rural areas of the U.S. and created a new imperative for leaders to meet the needs of the estimated 3 million students nationwide who are without internet at home. An AP analysis last year of census data showed an estimated 17% of U.S. students do not have access to computers at home and 18% do not have home access to broadband internet.“
– The Associated Press “Lack of oversight hobbles New Mexico’s broadband efforts“, August 20, 2020
“The challenges over this last year in accessing virtual learning, online economic opportunities, and telehealth services have only reinforced the importance of bringing high-speed broadband service to all of our communities,” Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM, said in a prepared statement. “… We must do everything we can to make sure broadband service is available to every single New Mexican.”
– Albuquerque Journal “FCC approves $165M for NM broadband”, December 18, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the Issue?
Who is Involved?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the state’s internet access and speed deficiencies as children learn online and remote work grows. It has become clear that there are large gaps and strain in our existing network. New Mexico has the research and plan needed to improve our broadband situation. Now, we need a coordinated effort to adapt to and improve the everyday lives of New Mexicans.
What's the Objective?
2021 Broadband Legislation
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