The state of New Mexico has awarded $66.8 million to cover some of the costs of making broadband available to 10,300 unserved and underserved locations. Tribal areas were the big winners, with more than half of the funding ($40.72 million) going to pueblos and to tribal-affiliated provider Oso Internet. Several local providers not affiliated with tribes and Comcast also won funding.
Comcast received the largest single award — $15.55 million to extend the company’s existing network in San Juan County to reach 2,800 additional locations. One of the other non-tribal entities was Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative, which received a $5.99 million award to reach 10 communities, including a tribal pueblo.
Other non-tribal entities winning funding were Penasco Valley Telephone Cooperative ($648,000) and Tularosa Communications ($5.66 million).
All entities winning funding will contribute matching funds, covering between 25% and 50% of project costs. The average match was 37%.
Project budgets total $106.3 million, including grants and matching funds, according to a press release from New Mexico’s Office of Broadband Access & Expansion, which administers state broadband programs. All the projects will use fiber broadband supporting speeds of at least 1 Gbps, according to the release.
The funding came through the Connect New Mexico Pilot Program, which in turn, was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.
When combined with funding awarded in previous rounds, the Connect New Mexico Pilot Program now has awarded a total of $117 million in grants, which have been augmented with an additional $72.7 million in matching contributions.
New Mexico now has awarded all the CPF funding made available to the state for the program.
A complete list of New Mexico broadband awards made in the latest round can be found at this link. Additional information about New Mexico broadband, including links to state resources and to previous Telecompetitor coverage, can be found on the Broadband Nation page for New Mexico.