Broadband construction is expected to greatly accelerate across New Mexico with the awarding of more than $165 million in grants coming out of Washington.
The projects, as funded through the Federal Communications Commission, will specifically target rural areas of the state that have long been under served.
The funding is coming through the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which was established earlier this year with the goal of directing more than $20 billion over the span of a decade to finance gigabit speed broadband networks.
In a statement, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich noted that 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.”
While the FCC has awarded a variety of grants to various states for broadband construction, in New Mexico, 18 cable companies, satellite businesses, electrical cooperatives, and wireless providers are receiving funding ranging from $3,100 to $59.2 million.
Altogether, some 180 companies and non-profits nationally secured Regional Opportunity Fund grants worth a total value of $9.2 billion.
According to the parameters of the program, recipients must meet periodic buildout requirements leading to their reaching all of their assigned locations within a six-year period.
According to a press release issued by the FCC, the selected companies will be “incentivized to buildout all locations as fast as possible.”
The New Mexico grant recipients include the Resound Networks with $59.2 million; the Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, with $38 million; and the Space Explorations Technologies Corporation, with $25.6 million.
The City of Farmington is slated for $3.1 million.
By Garry Boulard
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