1. How does the state of New Mexico address the issue of high internet costs for low-income families?The state of New Mexico has various programs and initiatives in place to address the issue of high internet costs for low-income families. These include:
1.1. Low-Income Broadband Assistance Program (LIBAP)
The LIBAP provides financial assistance to low-income families and individuals to help them afford broadband internet services. Eligible households can receive a discount of up to $75 per month on their internet bill.
1.2. Internet Service Providers Offer Discounts
Many internet service providers (ISPs) in New Mexico offer discounted rates to qualifying low-income families through federal programs like Lifeline or their own affordability programs.
1.3. Technology Bank Program
The Technology Bank Program provides low-income families with refurbished computers and laptops at a reduced cost, making it more affordable for them to access the internet.
1.4. Digital Literacy Programs
New Mexico has various digital literacy programs that help low-income families learn how to use the internet effectively and safely. These programs also provide guidance on how to find the best deals on internet services.
1.5. Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
In areas where broadband access is limited, the state has set up public Wi-Fi hotspots for residents to access the internet for free or at a reduced cost.
1.6 Income-Based Subsidies for High-Speed Internet Access
New Mexico offers subsidies to eligible households who cannot afford high-speed internet services but live in areas where these services are available.
1.7 Expansion of Broadband Infrastructure
The state is working towards expanding its broadband infrastructure, especially in rural and underserved areas, which will ultimately help drive down the cost of high-speed internet for all residents.
These initiatives aim to make high-speed internet services more affordable for low-income families in New Mexico, ensuring they have equal opportunities and access to essential online resources and services.
2. What government programs are available in New Mexico to ensure affordable internet access for underserved communities?There are several government programs available in New Mexico to ensure affordable internet access for underserved communities:
1. Connect New Mexico Broadband Program: This program, administered by the Department of Information Technology, provides grants to broadband service providers to expand their high-speed internet infrastructure and services to underserved areas in the state.
2. Lifeline Assistance Program: This federal program offers a monthly discount on phone or internet services for qualifying low-income households. In New Mexico, this program is administered by the New Mexico Public Regulations Commission.
3. Tribal Link-Up Program: This federal program provides funding for telephone installation and activation fees for eligible residents living on tribal lands.
4. Lifeline Discounted Service Program: Another federal program that offers discounted phone or internet services for low-income households, this program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
5. Internet Access Grants for Rural Schools and Libraries: The Universal Service Fund’s E-Rate program provides discounts on internet access and networking equipment for schools and libraries in rural areas.
6. Internet Essentials by Comcast: This program provides low-cost internet service ($9.95 a month) and subsidized computers for eligible low-income households.
7. Free Wi-Fi Hotspots: Many public places such as libraries, community centers, and parks offer free Wi-Fi hotspots that anyone can use to access the internet.
8. Community Broadband Network: Some communities in New Mexico have created their own community-owned broadband networks to provide affordable high-speed internet options.
9. Digital Literacy Training Programs: Some organizations in New Mexico offer digital literacy training programs to help underserved communities learn how to use technology and navigate the internet effectively.
10.Bridges Project: A collaborative effort between local organizations, this project works towards bridging the digital divide by providing low-cost computers and free computer classes to underserved communities in Albuquerque.
3. In what ways is the government of New Mexico working to bridge the digital divide and promote internet affordability for all residents?
The government of New Mexico is working on several initiatives to bridge the digital divide and promote internet affordability for all residents. These include:
1. Statewide Broadband Plan: In September 2020, the state adopted a statewide broadband plan to ensure universal access to high-speed internet by 2022. This plan outlines strategies to increase broadband infrastructure, adoption, and use in both rural and urban areas.
2. Internet Infrastructure Fund: The state has established the Internet Infrastructure Fund to provide financial assistance for the construction of broadband infrastructure in underserved and unserved areas.
3. Digital Divide Act: In 2019, the state passed the Digital Divide Act which directs local governments to find collaborative solutions, such as public-private partnerships, to expand broadband services in underserved communities.
4. Efforts for Rural Communities: The New Mexico Department of Information Technology (DoIT) is partnering with USDA Rural Development to bring internet services to remote areas through the Community Connect Grant program. Additionally, various other grants and programs are being implemented specifically for rural communities.
5. Wi-Fi Hotspots: The state has partnered with various organizations and businesses to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places like parks, libraries, and schools.
6. Affordable Internet Plans: To promote internet affordability, the DoIT has launched initiatives like ConnectALL New Mexico that aims to connect low-income families with affordable home broadband connections and discounted devices.
7. Digital Literacy Programs: The state is investing in digital literacy programs that provide resources and training for residents to learn basic computer skills and how to effectively use technology.
8. Telehealth Services Expansion: Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is expanding telehealth services throughout New Mexico, ensuring access to quality healthcare remotely.
9. Market Competition Regulation: The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) monitors market competition among telecom providers in order to drive down prices for consumers.
10. Broadband Planning Council (BBPC): The BBPC provides recommendations to the governor and legislature on how to address broadband infrastructure, adoption, and digital inclusion issues within the state.
4. What incentives or initiatives has New Mexico implemented to encourage ISPs to offer more affordable internet plans?
1. New Mexico Broadband Program: The New Mexico Department of Information Technology launched the New Mexico Broadband Program, which offers grants and technical assistance to ISPs to expand broadband access and affordability in underserved areas.
2. Universal Service Fund: The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has established a Universal Service Fund, which provides funds to eligible telecommunications carriers to help them provide affordable services in rural and low-income areas.
3. Internet Exchange Points: The state government has invested in Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) across the state, which allow ISPs to exchange traffic between their networks for free. This reduces their costs and encourages them to offer more affordable plans.
4. Tax Incentives: New Mexico offers tax incentives for businesses that invest in broadband infrastructure and services in underserved areas of the state.
5. Digital Skies Initiative: The state government launched the Digital Skies Initiative, an economic development program that provides tax incentives and other benefits to tech companies that locate or expand operations in New Mexico, with a focus on expanding broadband access and affordability.
6. Mapping Efforts: The state is actively mapping its broadband coverage to identify gaps in service and better target resources towards improving affordability and access.
7. Public-Private Partnerships: The state has formed public-private partnerships with ISPs to help expand broadband access and affordability, especially in rural areas where it may not be cost-effective for ISPs to do so on their own.
8. Digital Literacy Programs: Along with promoting affordable internet plans, the state also offers digital literacy programs that provide training and education on how to use the internet effectively, making it more accessible for all residents.
9. Low-Income Broadband Assistance Program: New Mexico’s Low-Income Broadband assistance program offers discounted rates for home internet service for low-income households through partnerships with participating ISPs.
10. Lifeline Program: The federal Lifeline program provides a discount on phone or internet service for qualifying low-income households in New Mexico, making it easier for them to afford internet plans.
5. Is there a specific agency or department in New Mexico responsible for overseeing internet affordability programs?
There is not a specific agency or department in New Mexico solely responsible for overseeing internet affordability programs. However, some organizations and state agencies work to promote access to affordable internet, including the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the New Mexico State Library.
6. How does New Mexico measure and track progress towards achieving widespread, affordable internet access for its residents?
New Mexico has several ways of measuring and tracking progress towards achieving widespread, affordable internet access for its residents.
1. Broadband Mapping Initiative: The New Mexico broadband mapping initiative is an ongoing effort to map broadband availability and speeds in the state. This project, administered by the Public Regulation Commission (PRC), collects data from internet service providers (ISPs) to create a detailed map of broadband availability across the state. This data is used to identify areas with limited or no access to high-speed internet.
2. Speed Test Data: The PRC also uses speed test data from users across the state to measure actual internet speeds and compare them to advertised speeds. This helps identify areas where ISPs may not be delivering promised speeds.
3. Universal Service Fund: The New Mexico Universal Service Fund (NMFUSF) collects contributions from telecommunications companies and uses these funds to support telecommunication services in underserved or unserved areas of the state. The NMFUSF tracks the number of households and businesses that have been served with telecommunications services through this program.
4. State Broadband Plan: New Mexico’s State Broadband Plan includes goals and metrics for improving internet access across the state. It sets targets for increasing broadband adoption, improving speeds, and expanding coverage in underserved areas.
5. Digital Inclusion Survey: The New Mexico Department of Information Technology conducts an annual survey on digital inclusion in the state. This survey gathers data on household internet usage, barriers to adoption, and community needs related to digital literacy.
6. Community Connect Grant Program: The Community Connect Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides funding for rural communities without sufficient broadband access. New Mexico tracks progress towards expanding broadband access through this program.
7. Federal Communications Commission Data: The FCC collects annual data from ISPs through its Form 477 report, which provides information on broadband deployment and competition at a county level in New Mexico. This data is used to track progress in closing the digital divide and expanding broadband access.
Overall, these measures help New Mexico identify areas of improvement and track progress towards achieving widespread, affordable internet access for its residents. By using multiple data sources and initiatives, the state can develop targeted strategies to address the specific needs of different communities and continue to improve broadband access for all.
7. Are there any partnerships between government and private companies in New Mexico aimed at lowering the cost of internet service?
8. Does New Mexico provide subsidies or discounts for low-income households struggling with high internet costs?
Yes, New Mexico provides subsidies and discounts for low-income households struggling with high internet costs through the Lifeline Assistance Program. This program offers a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone or internet service for eligible low-income households. Additionally, some internet service providers in New Mexico offer their own discounted plans for qualifying low-income households.
9. Are there any state-level regulations or policies in place to prevent ISPs from charging exorbitant prices for internet services in New Mexico? There are no specific state-level regulations or policies in place to prevent ISPs from charging exorbitant prices for internet services in New Mexico. However, there are consumer protection laws in the state that prohibit unfair and deceptive practices in business, which could potentially apply to excessive pricing by ISPs. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has jurisdiction over regulating broadband pricing and has some rules in place to promote competition and prevent unreasonable rates.
10. Can students from low-income families in New Mexico access discounted or free high-speed internet through government programs? Yes, low-income families in New Mexico may be eligible for discounted or free high-speed internet through the following government programs:
1. Lifeline Assistance Program: This is a federal program that offers discounted phone and internet services to qualifying low-income households. Eligible families can receive a discount of up to $9.25 per month on their high-speed internet service.
2. Broadband Infrastructure Program: This program, run by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, provides subsidies to eligible households in underserved areas for up to 50% of the cost of broadband service.
3. Comcast Internet Essentials: Low-income families with at least one child eligible for the National School Lunch Program can apply for discounted high-speed internet through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. The cost is $9.95 per month and includes a free WiFi router and access to low-cost computers.
4. Spectrum Internet Assist: Households with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program may be eligible for discounted high-speed internet through Spectrum’s Internet Assist program, which offers speeds of up to 30 Mbps for $14.99 per month.
5. CenturyLink Affordable Broadband: Households with at least one member participating in certain federal assistance programs like SNAP or Medicaid may qualify for discounted high-speed internet from CenturyLink under its Affordable Broadband program.
Additionally, some schools and libraries in New Mexico may provide access to free or low-cost high-speed internet services for students from low-income families. Families should check with their local school district or public library to see if these services are available.
11. How does New Mexico’s approach to promoting internet affordability differ from that of other states?
New Mexico’s approach to promoting internet affordability differs from that of other states in several ways:
1. Digital Equity Fund: In 2020, New Mexico became the first state to establish a Digital Equity Fund, which is a statewide program dedicated to ensuring access to affordable broadband for all residents. The fund provides grants and loans to local communities and organizations for initiatives such as building broadband infrastructure and providing digital literacy training.
2. Low-Cost Internet Plans: New Mexico has also implemented a number of programs to promote low-cost internet plans for low-income households. This includes partnering with major internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and CenturyLink to offer discounted rates for eligible households.
3. Statewide Broadband Office: In 2019, New Mexico established a Statewide Broadband Office within the Department of Information Technology (DoIT). This office is responsible for developing strategies and partnerships to expand high-speed internet access across the state, with a focus on underserved areas.
4. Partnerships with Tribal Communities: New Mexico has also prioritized partnerships with tribal communities to improve internet affordability and access on tribal lands. This includes working with ISPs to extend service coverage and offering technical assistance for broadband planning and development.
5. Education Initiatives: New Mexico has implemented initiatives focused on promoting digital inclusion in education settings. For example, the state partnered with schools during the COVID-19 pandemic to distribute devices and mobile hotspots to students who lacked access at home.
Overall, New Mexico’s approach combines funding initiatives, partnerships with ISPs and community organizations, dedicated offices for broadband expansion, special attention to tribal communities, and educational efforts targeted at digital inclusion – making it a comprehensive strategy designed to address various barriers to internet affordability across the state.
12. Has the government ofNew Mexico launched any innovative initiatives to make high-speed broadband more affordable and accessible for all residents?
Yes, the government of New Mexico has launched several initiatives to make high-speed broadband more affordable and accessible for all residents. These include:
1. Broadband for All Initiative: In 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham launched the Broadband for All Initiative, with a goal of providing universal high-speed internet access to all residents of the state by 2028. The initiative includes partnerships with private companies, schools, and local governments to expand broadband infrastructure and service to underserved areas.
2. Community Connect Grant Program: The state has a Community Connect Grant Program that provides funding for broadband infrastructure projects in rural or underserved areas. In 2020, $5 million was allocated for this program.
3. Mapping and Planning Grants: In order to identify areas most in need of broadband access, the state offers mapping and planning grants to local governments, tribal communities, and nonprofits. These grants help identify gaps in coverage and develop plans for expanding broadband infrastructure.
4. Advertisement Tax Credit: In an effort to incentivize private investment in broadband infrastructure, the state offers a tax credit for certain advertising expenses related to building or expanding internet services.
5. Mobile Broadband Unit: The state has also deployed a Mobile Broadband Unit (MBU) that provides free Wi-Fi access in underserved rural areas. The MBU travels throughout the state to provide internet access during emergencies or where there is no existing broadband service available.
6. Digital Divide Fund: The New Mexico Legislature created a Digital Divide Fund in 2018 to support programs that increase adoption and use of high-speed internet among low-income households and disadvantaged communities.
7. Office of Broadband Infrastructure Development: This office was established in 2020 under the Department of Information Technology to oversee and coordinate all statewide efforts related to expanding affordable and accessible broadband services.
Overall, these initiatives demonstrate New Mexico’s commitment towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring that all residents have access to high-speed broadband.
13. Do rural areas in New Mexico have equal access to affordable internet services as urban areas do?
No, rural areas in New Mexico do not have equal access to affordable internet services as urban areas. According to a report by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), only 13% of rural New Mexicans have access to broadband speeds of 25 Mbps or higher, while over 50% of urban residents have access to these speeds. Rural areas are also less likely to have access to multiple internet service providers, limiting competition and potentially driving up prices for consumers. Additionally, the cost of deploying high-speed internet to rural areas is often higher due to factors such as terrain and low population density, making it more difficult for providers to offer affordable services.
14. What role do community organizations play in advocating for more affordable internet options within the state of New Mexico?
Community organizations play a crucial role in advocating for more affordable internet options within the state of New Mexico. They serve as a voice for communities that may not have the resources or means to advocate on their own, and they work to bring attention to issues affecting access to affordable internet.
Some specific ways that community organizations can advocate for more affordable internet options include:
1. Conducting research and raising awareness: Community organizations can conduct research on the availability, speed, and cost of internet services in different areas of New Mexico. This information can help raise awareness about disparities and gaps in access to affordable internet.
2. Collaborating with other organizations: By working together with other community organizations, advocacy groups, and government agencies, community organizations can pool their resources and expertise to develop effective strategies for advocating for more affordable internet.
3. Educating policymakers: Community organizations can educate policymakers on the importance of affordable internet access and how it impacts their communities. This could include hosting workshops or meetings with legislators and providing them with data and evidence supporting the need for more affordable options.
4. Organizing campaigns or petitions: Community organizations can organize campaigns or petitions calling for increased competition among providers, better regulations, or funding initiatives that support affordable internet options.
5. Partnering with service providers: It is important for community organizations to work closely with local service providers to understand the challenges they face in providing more affordable options. By building relationships with providers, community organizations can advocate for solutions that benefit both consumers and providers.
6. Empowering communities: Through education and outreach programs, community organizations can empower individuals and communities to demand more equitable access to affordable internet services.
Overall, community organizations play a vital role in advocating for more accessible and affordable internet options in New Mexico by amplifying the voices of underserved communities and working towards policies that promote fair pricing and improved connectivity.
15. Are there any tax credits or incentives available to ISPs in exchange for offering lower-cost, high-speed internet services in New Mexico? There may be tax credits or incentives available to ISPs in New Mexico, however they vary depending on the specific location and circumstances. Some potential options to explore include:
1. The New Mexico Industrial Revenue Bond Program: This program offers tax-exempt bond financing for qualified businesses, which can include ISPs that are expanding or upgrading their infrastructure to offer high-speed internet services.
2. Rural Economic Development Tax Credit: This credit is intended to encourage investment and job creation in rural areas of New Mexico. ISPs that expand their services into underserved or unserved rural communities may be eligible for this credit.
3. Telecommunications Gross Receipts Tax Exemption: In 2019, legislation was enacted that exempts certain telecommunications equipment and services from state gross receipts taxes. ISPs may be eligible for this exemption if they are expanding or upgrading their infrastructure.
It’s recommended to consult with a tax professional or contact the Economic Development Department of New Mexico for more information on potential tax credits and incentives that may be available for your ISP in exchange for offering lower-cost, high-speed internet services.
16. How transparent is the government of New Mexico’s decision-making process when it comes to allocating funds towards improving internet affordability?
The government of New Mexico has taken steps to increase transparency in its decision-making process related to allocating funds towards improving internet affordability. Here are some key points to consider:
1. State Broadband Office: In 2019, the state created a State Broadband Office (SBO) within the Department of Information Technology to oversee broadband planning and development efforts. The SBO is responsible for coordinating with other government agencies, conducting research on broadband availability and speeds, and developing strategies for improving access and affordability across the state.
2. Public meetings: The SBO holds regular public meetings that provide opportunities for community members and stakeholders to share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions related to broadband development. These meetings are open to the public and agendas are published in advance.
3. Broadband Development Advisory Council (BDAC): The BDAC was established in 2020 by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to advise and assist the SBO in achieving its goals of expanding affordable broadband service across the state. The BDAC also holds regular public meetings and accepts public comments.
4. Transparency in grant funding: The New Mexico Economic Development Department provides grants for broadband infrastructure projects through its Border Region Fund Grant Program and Local Economic Development Act (LEDA). These grant programs have clear guidelines on eligible projects, application criteria, and selection processes that are publicly available.
5. Broadband Map: The SBO maintains a publicly accessible map that shows broadband availability and speeds across the state. This map is updated regularly based on data from various sources such as providers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and community surveys.
6. Budget transparency: New Mexico’s annual budget includes information about allocations towards broadband development initiatives, including funds for increasing internet affordability.
7. Collaboration with community partners: The SBO works closely with various community partners such as municipal governments, tribal entities, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and industry associations to identify areas of need and develop broadband solutions that prioritize affordability.
Overall, the government of New Mexico has made efforts towards increasing transparency in its decision-making process related to internet affordability. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of providing more detailed information and metrics on how funds are allocated and their impact on improving internet affordability.
17. What strategies has New Mexico employed to promote digital equity and ensure that all residents have access to affordable internet?
New Mexico has employed several strategies to promote digital equity and ensure access to affordable internet for all residents, including:
1. Broadband Infrastructure Development: The New Mexico Broadband Program works with local and state governments, tribal nations, and private entities to expand broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. This includes providing grants and financial assistance for broadband deployment projects.
2. Digital Literacy Training: The state offers digital literacy training programs through the New Mexico State Library and other community organizations to help residents develop the skills needed to use technology effectively.
3. Low-Income Broadband Assistance: The state participates in the federal Lifeline program, which offers discounted internet service for low-income households. Additionally, some internet service providers in New Mexico offer discounted plans specifically for low-income customers.
4. Job Training Programs: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program provides funding for job training programs that include digital literacy components, helping individuals gain necessary skills for job opportunities that require the use of technology.
5. Public Wi-Fi Access: There are several initiatives in New Mexico to provide free public Wi-Fi access in parks, libraries, community centers, and other public spaces to ensure that all residents have access to the internet.
6. Statewide Digital Divide Task Force: In 2020, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham created a task force dedicated to addressing and closing the digital divide in New Mexico. This task force will work with key stakeholders to identify strategies and investments to promote digital equity throughout the state.
7. Funding for Rural Areas: The state has also provided funding specifically geared towards improving internet access in rural areas through the Connecting Communities grant program.
8. Collaboration with Non-Profit Organizations: The state partners with non-profit organizations like EveryoneOn and PCs for People to help connect families and students in need with low-cost devices and internet service.
9. Education Initiatives: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has implemented several initiatives to ensure students have access to remote learning, such as distributing devices and mobile hotspots to students in need.
10. Telehealth Expansion: The state is working to expand telehealth services, particularly in rural and underserved areas, to provide residents with access to virtual healthcare appointments and resources.
11. Digital Inclusion Summit: New Mexico hosts an annual Digital Inclusion Summit that brings together stakeholders from government, education, healthcare, and community organizations to collaborate on digital inclusion efforts in the state.
18. Does the state government in New Mexico work closely with local municipalities to implement targeted programs for improving internet affordability?
Yes, the state government of New Mexico does work closely with local municipalities to implement targeted programs for improving internet affordability.
The New Mexico Department of Information Technology (DoIT) works with local governments to address broadband access and affordability issues. DoIT supports the Statewide Broadband Program, which provides grants to local communities for building broadband infrastructure in underserved areas.
Additionally, the state government has collaborated with local municipalities and tribal governments to establish public-private partnerships aimed at improving broadband access and affordability. For example, the ConnectNewMexico initiative is a partnership between the state government, local municipalities, and private companies to expand broadband infrastructure and increase affordable high-speed internet options for residents.
Moreover, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has launched initiatives to promote affordable broadband services in low-income and rural areas. The PRC established the Lifeline Broadband Pilot Program to provide discounted internet service for eligible low-income households. The PRC has also established regulations that require telecommunications providers to offer affordable basic internet service plans.
Overall, the state government of New Mexico actively works with local municipalities and community partners to implement targeted programs for improving internet affordability throughout the state.
19. How does the state ofNew Mexico compare to neighboring states in terms of promoting and achieving widespread internet affordability?
In comparison to neighboring states, New Mexico is not as successful in promoting and achieving widespread internet affordability. According to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s 2020 Affordability Report, New Mexico ranks 34th out of 50 states in terms of broadband affordability. This places it below all neighboring states except for Texas, which ranks at 41st.
One factor that contributes to this lower ranking is the relatively low median household income in New Mexico compared to other states. This makes it more difficult for residents to afford high-speed internet plans. Additionally, New Mexico has a higher proportion of rural residents, and rural areas tend to have fewer options for affordable broadband services.
In terms of state initiatives and policies promoting internet affordability, New Mexico falls behind its neighbors as well. For example, Colorado has statewide programs such as the Colorado Broadband Fund and a Digital Literacy Program aimed at increasing access and affordability for underserved communities. Arizona has similar programs such as the Arizona Broadband Initiative and Connect Arizona. In contrast, New Mexico does not have any specific initiatives targeting internet affordability.
However, there are efforts being made by organizations and community groups in New Mexico to bridge the digital divide and promote affordability, particularly in remote areas where internet access is limited. These efforts include partnerships between municipalities and private companies to expand broadband infrastructure, as well as community-driven projects like Wi-Fi hotspots provided by nonprofits or local businesses.
20. Are there long-term plans in place in New Mexico to address the issue of rising internet costs and make high-speed internet accessible for all residents?
Yes, there are long-term plans in place in New Mexico to address rising internet costs and make high-speed internet accessible for all residents. The state has a broadband initiative called the New Mexico Connect Project that aims to provide affordable, high-speed internet access to every resident by 2022. This initiative includes a variety of strategies such as expanding existing infrastructure, partnering with private companies to build new infrastructure, and promoting digital literacy among residents.
Additionally, the state government has established the Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE) to lead efforts in bridging the digital divide and ensuring affordable broadband access for all New Mexicans. OBAE works closely with communities, local governments, and service providers to identify underserved areas and implement solutions.
In terms of funding, New Mexico has allocated significant resources towards improving broadband infrastructure and affordability through programs like the Universal Service Fund (USF) which provides financial support for telecommunications services in rural areas. The state also secured $600 million from federal relief legislation specifically for broadband expansion projects.
Furthermore, the state is actively working towards implementing policies that promote competition among internet service providers (ISPs) and protect consumers from unfair price increases. These efforts aim to create a more competitive market that can drive down costs for consumers.
Overall, there are ongoing efforts at the state level in New Mexico to address rising internet costs and close the digital divide. With these long-term plans and investments in place, we can expect to see improved access to high-speed internet for all residents in the years ahead.