Rural Broadband Expansion Moving Forward In New Mexico
State officials say they are steadily moving forward to bring high speed broadband across New Mexico and to areas where service is lacking or non-existent.
The Office of Broadband Access and Expansion or OBAE gave an update last week to the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee.
Acting Broadband Director Drew Lovelace told lawmakers that they continue to work with counties and tribal communities with technical assistance, maps, securing right-of-ways and grants and other programs.
Lovelace says setting up the statewide broadband infrastructure is similar to transportation from major highways to local roads, with long haul fiber, to the middle mile and then the last mile to homes and businesses.
“You think about going down to El Paso up to Albuquerque, that’s going to be your long haul. Your middle mile is going to be some of the smaller roads in your town and the last mile, that’s going to be your street and your driveway as the last little bit,” he said. “When we think about these big pipelines of data that move around it’s very similar. The biggest capacity, the biggest hauls move across interstates. You’ll have a lot of traffic within your town and less traffic in your roadway to your house.”
Lovelace says the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment, or BEAD Program is moving along with about $675 million allocated for the next two years.
The program is expected to help bring broadband access to rural areas and tribal nations in New Mexico and other states over the next several years.