New Mexico to fund blimp broadband study for rural internet

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is investing in a study to see if blimps can deliver high-speed internet to rural areas. Officials confirm that a $3.2 million contract is in the works with Switzerland-based airship company Sceye (SKY’).

It would launch airships rigged with internet devices from a hanger in Roswell and pilot them remotely.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department says it’s financing the study to find cheaper and faster ways to expand the state’s weak broadband infrastructure laid bare by the pandemic.

State officials estimate that traditional fiber cable expansion would take years and cost around $5 billion.