Legislative Committee To Discuss Future Of Broadband In New Mexico

Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla (D-14-Bernalillo) will chair the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee Oct. 20-21 in room 317 at the State Capitol in Santa Fe. The meeting will focus on expanding broadband in New Mexico and increasing the speed of broadband systems already in New Mexico.

“New Mexico’s broadband access and expansion strategies have a direct impact on our job creation and economic future” Padilla said. “Improving our broadband infrastructure will improve education and New Mexico’s position to compete for high wage jobs.”

Members of the business community, representatives from Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory and education professionals will discuss the current broadband infrastructure in local schools and in communities. This will include the next generation standards and ideas to help develop a strategy to meet those standards.

“We have successfully worked with industry and the school district in Belen to increase the speed at all Belen schools to 1 gigabit per second,” Padilla said. “I encourage anyone who supports expanding access for their communities to attend the committee meeting.”

Facebook recently broke ground on a data center in Los Lunas. New Mexico needs to improve access to broadband to rural areas to attract companies, like Facebook, that require access to high speed broadband. Currently, 39 percent of Americans do not have access to speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload according to the FCC. That number increase to 68 percent in rural tribal lands. In New Mexico, 61 percent of the population in rural areas does not have access to 25 Mbps.

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