New Mexico Broadband Collective Launches Fundraising Campaign To Provide Broadband to More New Mexicans
January 24, 2022 (Santa Fe, NM) The New Mexico Broadband Collective has launched a fundraising campaign to assist communities across New Mexico that are having the most difficulty with accessing broadband. Approximately 196,000 homes and businesses don’t have broadband now which revents them from accessing jobs, healthcare and other opportunities. This is often because their communities lack both the funding and technical assistance they need to develop solutions that will work best for them and to enable them to compete for the unprecedented federal and state broadband funding becoming available. The Collective is aiming to raise a total of $600,000 to help these “hard-to-connect” communities bridge these gaps so they can then access federal and state funding for their projects: $500,000 for the Broadband Equity Fund managed by the New Mexico Foundation and $100,000 for the Technical Assistance and Grantwriting Fund managed by Groundworks New Mexico.
“Broadband technology is essential for creating more diverse and dynamic rural areas across the state, including attracting digital nomads, or people looking to increase quality of life,” shared Alvin Warren, the Collective’s Co-Chair and vice president of Career Pathways and Advocacy for the LANL Foundation. “COVID-19 has ushered in new norms for remote learning and work. Ensuring all New Mexicans have broadband access represents an opportunity to retain local talent so that people can participate in the culture of their communities while strengthening local economies.”
Established in March, 2021, the New Mexico Broadband Collective was formed to support a statewide approach to ensuring broadband services for all New Mexicans, especially in rural communities, Native communities, and other hard-to-connect communities most impacted by the lack of broadband connectivity. With backbone support from Groundworks New Mexico, the Collective is managed by a steering committee and includes representation from foundations, nonprofits, government, and private providers.
“Small, rural villages in New Mexico do not have the administrative, financial, or technical capacity to lead large-scale broadband infrastructure projects, however critical they might be,” explained Carey Beam, a resident of the Village of Cuba and a member of the Broadband Collective’s Community and Regional Projects workgroup. “Support from the Broadband Collective Fundraising Campaign is crucial to helping these small civic bodies access the technical expertise and funding necessary to close the connectivity gaps necessary for community and economic development.”
The Collective hopes that foundations, individual donors, financial institutions, business associations and corporate partners will step forward at this pivotal time to support this campaign, both because they see an opportunity to help people in small rural and other hard-to-connect communities thrive and know that universal broadband access is central to long-term economic prosperity for New Mexico.
To learn more about the New Mexico Broadband Collective and contribute to the fundraising campaign, visit: https://www.lanlfoundation.org/nm-broadband-collective