NTIA has awarded $10 million through the Capital Projects Fund (CPF) for New Mexico’s Tribal Library Broadband-Ready Facility Improvement Program.

The funding will go toward a new childcare center and will expand six libraries and family resource centers within Tribal communities so that all facilities will have broadband internet and computers. The goal is to help ensure that Native Americans have access to educational programming, health and career services, and social supports.

“Upon project completion, all facilities will provide broadband internet and computers to directly enable work, education, and health monitoring within their communities, currently among the state’s least served in terms of broadband access,” said NTIA in a press release.

The state estimates that the facilities will serve thousands of people in seven Pueblos, Tribes, and Indian Nations across the state.

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is a necessity to keep up with everyday life,” said New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich in a prepared statement. The funding he said will help tribes and pueblos close the digital divide.

Senator Ben Ray Lujan said, “Whether completing homework, conducting research or operating in the digital economy, these libraries serve as an essential hub for communities around New Mexico.”

This isn’t the first time NTIA has awarded funding to New Mexico tribes. In 2022, the agency awarded over $140 million to tribes in the state through the Tribal Broadband program.

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