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Having statewide broadband is something critical to both professionals and students in New Mexico, as 20 percent of our state’s homes and businesses lack access to broadband service (CTC Technology & Energy, 2020).
At the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM), we are part of the Ngage New Mexico Success Partnership, a prenatal career initiative that has brought together many parents, nonprofit collaborators and professionals who are committed to improve education in Dona Ana County.
We have seen firsthand the tremendous need for statewide connectivity for both students struggling with online access and for our 44 nonprofit partners throughout southern New Mexico that need better broadband in order to support hundreds of clients.
Normalizing and accepting the new culture of Zoom meetings and online learning has been difficult for many. Many children living in rural areas and border communities do not receive fast or efficient broadband support, which leaves them behind on their lessons and makes the learning experience that much harder.
Professionals in our state also have seen the effects that our lack of connectivity has created, as most continue to work from home throughout this time. With the pandemic making nearly everything virtual, our state must step up in making learning and working more efficient through better statewide connectivity.
Funders like CFSNM, in collaboration with the New Mexico Census 2020 Collaborative, see this as imperative work to increase broadband access to all, especially those in rural and border areas. Improving our state’s Internet access can change the online education system for the better and make working from home more productive.
Creating statewide broadband will help students and professionals, while also keeping New Mexico progressing forward towards a modern and sustainable future.
Learn more about #ConnectNM, as part of the Success Partnership, and engage with the following webpage: https://successdac.org/connectnm/. Follow the movement on social media and read the Center for Community Analysis: The Digital Divide in New Mexico at https://cca.nmsu.edu/interactive-data-dashboards/access-to-technology-within-nm/. Let’s commit to getting more broadband service to all who need it throughout New Mexico.
Carina Mendoza is an intern for the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico. Reach her at email@example.com.