SANTA FE ― New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed House Bill 113 into law. House Bill 113, sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe) and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo), authorizes the state to establish a statewide broadband network.
While New Mexico has one of the highest school Internet connectivity rates in the country, connection speeds at the schools are among the slowest in the country. House Bill 113 would coordinate demand between public users to reduce costs and encourage additional investment in electronic infrastructure throughout the state. It will also help rural communities create new jobs and allow residents to remotely access educational content as well as telehealth services.
“I am very pleased that Gov. Martinez has signed this bill into law,” Smith said. “Building a state broadband network will help New Mexico participate in the 21st Century technology economy. It will help communities leverage public infrastructure to create new economic opportunities for all New Mexicans.”
The bill is similar to legislation adopted by the State of Nebraska to create a state broadband network there. Network Nebraska has been in existence for about ten years and it has helped bring together public and private partners to expand broadband infrastructure throughout the state.