Luján and FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel Participate in Day of Broadband Events
[SANTA FE, NM] – Today, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel participated in a day of events centered around the digital divide and broadband access in New Mexico. Luján and Rosenworcel joined a broadband roundtable at New Mexico State Library and a discussion at Early College Opportunity High School with representatives from Google, NM Tech Works, and Santa Fe Public Schools.
Rep. Luján and Commissioner Rosenworcel participate in a Digital Divide Discussion at Early College Opportunity High School.
“The future belongs to the connected and in our 21st century economy, access to broadband internet is essential for communities to compete,” said Rosenworcel. “Thanks to Congressman Luján for his efforts to expand connectivity to New Mexico families and beyond. I appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand how critical broadband access is for the state and look forward to working together to make sure no one is left offline.”
Earlier in the day, Luján and Rosenworcel participated in a demonstration of Google’s Rolling Study Halls. Santa Fe Public Schools is partnering with Google on their Rolling Study Halls initiative, which gives students with long commutes the ability to ride buses with Wi-Fi, devices, and an onboard tutor.
Rep. Luján and FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel participate in a demonstration of Google’s Rolling Study Halls
“Students increasingly need access to the internet to complete their school work. If air-travelers can have Internet access at 30,000 feet in a plane, then students on the ground should be able to have internet access to get their homework done,” said Luján. “Turning students’ long commutes into time spent learning is a commonsense step toward ensuring that all students have the tools and skills they need to flourish.”
The Congressman and the Commissioner also toured Santo Domingo Library and New Mexico State Library. Santo Domingo Library is part of the Middle Rio Grande Pueblo Tribal Consortium, which received $3.9 million from the E-Rate program to support a fiber project to connect four tribal libraries in New Mexico. New Mexico Deputy State Librarian Joy Poole lead the tour of the New Mexico State Library.
Earlier this year, Luján introduced the Tribal Connect Act to promote broadband access in tribal communities and in November 2017, Luján introduced the Broadband Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (BFIA) to create new low-interest financing opportunities to incentivize broadband infrastructure build-out in New Mexico and other parts of the country. In addition, because federal lands, buildings, and assets can be used as conduits for broadband and other communication services, Luján championed a provision that is now law that requires the General Service Administration’s Federal Real Property Database to detail the ability of federal facilities to support a communications installation.
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