New Mexico Schools Close in on Fiber-Fast Internet Goals

THE Journal: Almost two years after announcing plans to bring high-speed internet to every classroom by 2018, the governor of Next Mexico said 99 percent of the state's public schools now have access to broadband, primarily through fiber optic connections; the costs have dropped by 60 percent. Governor Susana Martinez tapped into $49 million of state funding along with federal E-rate dollars to purchase, upgrade and install the high-speed internet access for schools throughout New Mexico, which now reaches an additional 110,000 students.

In 2015, when the Broadband for Education (BB4E) initiative was originally announced, 89 percent of schools had state-of-the-art internet. By the time of a mid-summer "progress check" this year, 96 percent of traditional schools had connected to fiber; half of the remaining schools were estimated to have upgraded in fiscal year 2017. The upgrade also encompassed purchase of new WiFi network equipment to run inside schools.

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