Gov. Lujan Grisham signs measures advancing broadband connection and development
SANTA FE, NM (STL.News) Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed a pair of measures moving the state one step closer to providing New Mexico with the broadband capacity to connect all New Mexicans to reliable, high-speed internet.
Senate Bill 93 establishes an Office of Broadband Access and Expansion to centralize and coordinate broadband activities across state government agencies, local governmental bodies, tribal governmental organizations and internet service providers. The Office of Broadband will be responsible for developing a three-year broadband strategic and operational plan providing guiding principles and operational criteria for significant broadband deployment and expansion for New Mexico.
House Bill 10 establishes the Connect New Mexico Fund and the Connect New Mexico Council, which will provide state grant funding for broadband infrastructure statewide and conduct and enact oversight and accountability requirements; the legislation also significantly increases the annual distribution for broadband infrastructure from the State Rural Universal Service Fund.
The broadband office will conduct statewide meetings for the purpose of gathering recommendations and feedback on how to best move forward with existing stakeholder plans for broadband expansion for all New Mexicans.
The Connect New Mexico Council will consist of 15 members who will oversee $130 million in broadband grant and infrastructure appropriations made in the 2021 session.