Millions in funding to bring broadband to rural New Mexico areas
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a multi-million dollar investment to bring broadband to New Mexico farmlands and rural areas.
“You can’t do precision agriculture without it, you can’t report your climate results without it,” said Vilsack.
The federal funds come from the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Federal officials say 59% of the state does not have access to a secure internet connection.
“We have talked about broadband over and over again in New Mexico because we haven’t had the connectivity that we need,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich.
As farming methods get more high-tech, so does the need for internet to support equipment that uses technology like GPS mapping for real time data on temperature, soil conditions and grain prices.
“We know when we invest in our rural commuinities, we are investing in who we are as a state and who we are as a country,” said Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández.
The money will be split into three state projects. $23.8 million will go towards providing high speed internet to residents in Catron County.
$2.6 million will provide those in De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Quay, San Miguel, Socorro and Union counties with broadband.
Just under $14 million will go to Chaves, Eddy, Otero and Lincoln counties.
“With this infrastructure law we have the single biggest investment in broadband and connectivity ever,” said Heinrich.