New Mexico begins push to improve spotty internet access

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A nationwide search is underway for an administrator to guide New Mexico’s expansion of high-speed internet, with an appointment expected in July.

Details of the talent search are part of a progress report by state information technology officials, scheduled for discussion Thursday at a legislative hearing.

The COVID-19 pandemic and a year-long pivot to online learning have exposed gaps in internet access across large swaths of the state.

The Legislature and governor recently approved $133 million in spending to expand high-speed internet access during the coming fiscal year that starts July 1.

They also called for the creation of a state office dedicated to improving internet access.

New Mexico has the highest percentage of residents in the U.S. Southwest without adequate broadband internet infrastructure.