WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that New Mexico received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. New Mexico is receiving $5,740,534.91 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
"Internet for All initiatives will support the provision of Internet connectivity for all with a focus on connecting unserved and underserved communities," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I commend Governor Lujan Grisham for her work to advance reliable, high-speed Internet throughout New Mexico. This work is imperative to ensure equitable access to educational and economic opportunities."
"Improved access to reliable high-speed internet means improved access to education, health care, and economic opportunity,” said New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich. “This major federal investment that will help deliver high-speed internet to New Mexicans is exactly why I worked so hard to pass the landmark Infrastructure Law."
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is changing lives in New Mexico,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “In a rural state like ours, the internet is critical infrastructure, and these federal resources will help us build the foundation needed to make high-speed internet access a reality for every New Mexican.”
“I’m pleased to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law at work once again in New Mexico. High-speed and high-quality Internet service is a utility, and the $1.5 million from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the Digital Equity Program will help our communities create the most comprehensive and equitable broadband expansion plans possible,” said Rep. Leger Fernández (NM-03). “Access to high-speed service is a necessity. The BEAD program will help us close the digital divide and fulfill our responsibility to provide these services to all of our communities.”
“Together, the BEAD and Digital Equity programs provide a historic opportunity to address all aspects of the digital divide in a thoughtful, concerted manner – with the promise of lasting impact for New Mexicans all across our state,” said New Mexico Broadband Director Kelly Schlegel. “The planning funds will be instrumental in helping us identify gaps – in broadband access, adoption, and use – and create a stakeholder-driven plan of action. We cannot wait to get started in the new year.”
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About New Mexico’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
New Mexico will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Helping close the broadband availability gap and the development of a Five-Year Action Plan;
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations;
- Publications, outreach, and communications support; Providing technical assistance to potential subgrantees, including through workshops and events;
- Conducting surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
New Mexico will receive $740,534.91 to fund various activities including:
- Helping close the digital equity gap and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Assessing the current state of digital equity programs across New Mexico;
- Analyzing the needs and barriers to digital equity for all residents, specifically for covered populations;
- Creating measurable objectives to advance digital equity and create impact on state-wide economic development, education, health, civic engagement, and essential services;
- Creating an implementation strategy that includes clear goals and performance measures, prioritizes investments, and articulates governance and oversight for the strategy.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward Internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.