The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the New Mexico Department of Information Technology (DoIT).  The funding will be leveraged to provide technical assistance for eligible local, tribal, and other government entities, private sector companies, and/or utility cooperatives seeking to expand broadband infrastructure and services in response to the critical need for internet access during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Where there is broadband, there is opportunity; a chance for better education, online work, access to healthcare, and improved economic prospects. Broadband accelerates recovery and resilience. It is critical infrastructure. This grant opportunity will help make that a reality for rural New Mexico,” said Cabinet Secretary and State CIO John L. Salazar.

The DoIT’s Office of Broadband will use this funding to develop a new Broadband Technical Assistance Program. It will build upon New Mexico’s work over the last decade to improve broadband in rural New Mexico. The program will help support the creation of construction jobs, close the student access gap, and develop local infrastructure projects.