The New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund application is now closed.
The COVID-19 pandemic radically restructured the ways in which education, employment, and community functioned; suddenly, everyone needed high speed at-home Internet access in order to learn, earn income, and socialize. However, in 2020, New Mexico was ranked 42nd in the United States for residential broadband internet access (”New Mexico looks for ways to improved broadband service,” Aug 19 2020, Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity). Native communities, rural communities, and other communities of color were (and still are) most impacted by this inequity.
Hosted by Groundworks New Mexico, the New Mexico Broadband Collective was established in March 2021 to address this lack of connectivity, recognizing the necessity of a statewide approach to coordinate efforts to ensuring high-speed broadband connectivity for all residents of New Mexico. A diverse group of funders, tribal, nonprofit, and government representatives across the state to support a statewide approach to ensuring that broadband services are available to all New Mexicans.
Communities across New Mexico still needs funding to complete the ambitious goals of statewide connectivity. Consider donating to the New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund today, where your contribution will go directly to grassroots organizations working on-the-ground to build modern Internet connectivity systems for their communities.
In the inaugural 2022 grant cycle, the Broadband Collective granted $455,000 to the following nine organizations and tribes:
Colores United (Luna County) $75,000
To increase connectivity by amplifying Wifi at key locations in Colombus, New Mexico, such as the town library, city hall, senior center, Borderlands Café and other locations, over two years. The town of Columbus has a population of 1,600 residents, many of whom do not have access or reliable access to Wifi.
Jicarilla Apache Nation Power Authority (Rio Arriba & Sandoval Counties) $19,740
To upgrade the tribal office’s computer systems. The JAN is working to upgrade the fiber optic infrastructure throughout the entire community and the tribal office computer system upgrades are needed to better integrate the technology for the overall broadband improvements.
Picuris Pueblo (Taos County) $59,904.
To develop, install and operate high-speed broadband service that would be 100 perce3nt owned and operated by the tribe. The pueblo has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic begin, and many residents, especially tribal students, do not have access. The tribal utilities department will take the lead on this two-year project.
Pueblo of Cochiti (Sandoval) $40,500
To expand the pueblo’s IT department, which currently comprises two people; and the completion of fiber to homes of Cochiti Pueblo residents. The pueblo consists of approximately 1,800 residents, all of whom are served by a single T1 connection.
Pueblo of Laguna Utility Authority (Cibola County) $71,596
To continue to expand the reach of broadband in the Laguna Pueblo community. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a need for network upgrade, as the current system serves 500 tribal members.
El Valle de Anton Chico Library (San Miguel and Guadalupe County) $35,540
To purchase equipment and supplies that will allow the library to implement various programs, including coding for girls, early literacy and bilingual programs, as well as basic computer applications to support the community.
REDINet (Santa Fe and Rio Arriba County) $44,720
For system equipment that will allow the group to have an uninterrupted power supply. REDINet is a high-speed, open access community broadband network located in Northern New Mexico and owned and operated by a consortium of local and tribal governments. The consortium was set up to bring broadband services at affordable prices to constituencies.
True Kids 1 (Taos County) $33,000
For a “laptop library” and to train a “Student Squad,” comprised of students in Taos County schools on different operating systems and reduced and free internet service available to community members. The students will then train other senior citizens, families and community members.
Yee Ha’oolniidoo (San Juan and McKinely Counties) $75,000
To primarily bridge the digital divide in the Navajo communities of Ramah and Sheep Springs. This grant will support a community planning process, broadband needs assessment and strategic plan.
Consider a donation to the New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund today – all contributions go directly towards community organizations working on-the-ground to develop broadband infrastructure for rural communities throughout New Mexico.