CenturyLink is touting the fact that it has completed a $258 million infrastructure build-out in New Mexico. The investment, which was made to fulfill a commitment made to the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission in 2007, actually exceeded the promised amount by $3 million, the company said. The original commitment was made by Qwest prior to its acquisition by CenturyLink, which was announced in 2010 and completed earlier this year.

A key goal of the investment was to expand broadband to 83% of New Mexico’s residents, and CenturyLink said it has actually exceeded that goal and now reaches 85%. Even in rural areas, the company said it now reaches an average of 75% of customers with broadband.

“We are proud that these particular investments are complete, were done early and that we invested an additional $3 million,” said Valerie Dodd, vice president and general manager for CenturyLink in New Mexico, in an announcement issued yesterday. “We look forward to continued investment in bringing innovative products and services to this marketplace.”

CenturyLink’s investment focused on four key areas.

  1. Central office interconnection. CenturyLink now has interconnected each of its central officesa in New Mexico to support broadband service delivery.
  2. Central office redundancy and diversity. The company built fiber routes to create a secondary backbone to enhance network reliability.
  3. Cable rehabilitation. CenturyLink replaced more than 150 miles of aging cable throughout New Mexico.
  4. Network and advanced telecommunications technology to improve the network and augment network capacity.

It’s a good thing CenturyLink is getting experience meeting promises made to regulators, as the company has made quite a few such promises as conditions of its acquisitions of Embarq, Qwest and other companies.

Hopefully Qwest’s broadband expansion will move New Mexico from its current 49th place among the 50 states in rural broadband availability. According to a recent FCC report, 65.9% of rural New Mexico cannot get broadband service at speeds of at least 3 Mb/s downstream and 768 kb/s upstream.

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