February 17, 2010

Two N.M. Telephone Companies Receive $14.8 Million For Broadband Infrastructure Improvement

Recovery Funding to help Western New Mexico, Colfax, Union Counties

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today announced that two New Mexico telephone companies will receive $14.8 million in federal funding to improve broadband access and quality in remote and underserved parts of the state. This funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by President Obama a year ago today.

Western New Mexico Telephone Company will receive an $11.5 million grant to provide last mile broadband services to remote and underserved locations and critical community facilities in the southwestern part of the state.

Baca Valley Telephone Company Inc. will receive $1.6 million in loans and a $1.6 million grant to upgrade its high speed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) broadband in rural Union and Colfax counties. This advanced DSL service should provide broadband connectivity that is comparable to what is available to subscribers in urban areas.

"This is a significant investment in some of the smaller communities in our state that are not yet benefitting from full broadband access. It will provide the infrastructure needed to help students learn and small businesses grow," Bingaman said.

"Although high quality broadband service is often considered a luxury item, it should be available to all. I am excited about these investments in New Mexico's broadband infrastructure, which is important to the economic development of our rural communities," said Udall, member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee.