Getting Internet Service in Rural New Mexico Takes More Than “Doing the Math”

Spools of fiber-optic cable are becoming a more common sight across the state since the federal government has begun funding Internet projects. It’s a good thing, isn’t it? Maybe not, if you listen to naysayers.

In April, the US Department of Agriculture announced that New Mexico would receive $40 million for three rural broadband projects, courtesy of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That brings the total to 18 projects worth more than $200 million.

For people in remote places with slow or no internet service, it means they can enjoy all the services and conveniences that people in cities take for granted.

This funding round sends $23.8 million to Western New Mexico Telephone Co. to build a fiber-optic network that will provide high-speed Internet access to 206 people, five businesses and five farms in Catron County.

Sherry Robinson, columnist.

The Peasco Valley telephone cooperative will receive $13.9 million for 550 people, 11 businesses and 48 farms in Chaves, Eddy, Otero and Lincoln counties, according to the USDA news release.

And the ENMR telephone cooperative will receive $2.6 million for a farm and 27 people in De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Quay, San Miguel, Socorro and Union counties.

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