Eleven New Mexico telecom and broadband providers are planning a statewide fiber network to be known as NM Fiber Network LLC. The network is a “multi-year, multi-million dollar” undertaking, NM Fiber Network said.
Between them, the 11 providers already have thousands of miles of fiber across the state. The project is expected to augment those assets by increasing capacity and improving reliability.
According to a press release, the genesis of the NM Fiber Network was in the New Mexico Broadband Initiative Consortium formed by the governor’s office to develop a state broadband roadmap.
The formation of NM Fiber Network “comes at a crucial time for the State of New Mexico as federal and state agencies are gearing up to distribute billions of dollars in broadband grant monies under the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program established in the infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” the press release notes.
The goal of the BEAD program is to make high-speed broadband available to unserved rural areas by covering some of the deployment costs. Statewide fiber networks can have a big impact on the feasibility of a last-mile broadband project because in many cases, connectivity is needed not just to individual homes and businesses but also to an internet point of presence. Statewide fiber networks can serve as the middle-mile between a rural community and the internet.
According to an NM Fiber Network web page, the statewide network will reach internet access points in Chicago and Ashburn, Virginia. The network will offer Ethernet and internet connections at speeds between 10 Mbps and 100 Gbps to providers, enterprises and anchor institutions.
Plans for the statewide network also include partnering with Indatel, a nationwide network connecting more than 30 statewide fiber networks and 700 rural independent telecom providers.
The 11 companies owning NM Fiber Network already cover a considerable portion of the state:
The 11 member-company owners are:
- Baca Valley Telephone Company
- Dell Telephone Cooperative
- ENMR Telephone Cooperative
- La Jicarita Rural Telephone Cooperative
- Leaco Rural Telephone Cooperative
- Penasco Valley Telephone Cooperative
- Roosevelt County Rural Telephone Cooperative
- Sacred Wind Communications
- Tularosa Communications
- Valley Telephone Cooperative
- Western New Mexico Telephone Company