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Martinez Announces Plans to Bring High-Speed Internet to Every Classroom by 2018

Oct 15, 2015

Credit Office of the Governor

  Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced plans to bring high-speed Internet access to every New Mexico classroom by the 2018 school year. By leveraging $49 million in appropriated state funds over the next few years, several state agencies and a national nonprofit will team up with local districts to improve infrastructure and bring high-speed Internet to every student in New Mexico. Currently, more than 30 percent of New Mexico’s school districts don't have access to high-speed Internet.

“I have always believed that every child can learn – no matter their circumstances or background. But as leaders, we must also give our students the tools they need to succeed. In 2015, that means providing every school with access to high-speed Internet,” Governor Martinez said. “For many of New Mexico’s kids, this commitment will be a game-changer, allowing our students to access tools and content where it matters most: in the classroom.”

To meet this goal, state agencies, including the Public Schools Facility Authority, the Public Education Department, and the Department of Information Technology, will work with EducationSuperHighway to develop a plan for building the infrastructure required to deliver high-speed Internet. Components of the plan will include building fiber-optic connections into school districts, upgrading Wi-Fi networks inside schools, and buying Internet bandwidth in bulk for cost-effectiveness. In addition to leveraging the state’s existing $49 million over the next few years, New Mexico will work with the federal E-Rate program to secure additional funding to meet the goal.

“Classrooms across the country and in New Mexico are increasingly using online resources and technology to support students and teachers,” said PED Cabinet Secretary Hanna Skandera. “Today’s announcement is great news for New Mexico’s kids, who deserve to have the tools they need to be successful in a 21st Century classroom.”

EducationSuperHighway is a national nonprofit focused on upgrading Internet access in schools throughout the U.S., working with schools, states, and the federal government to promote broadband initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Governor Martinez and her team to bring high-speed Internet to every student in New Mexico,” said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway. “Broadband connectivity provides the foundation for educational opportunity in the 21st Century and EducationSuperHighway is dedicated to making sure that every student can take advantage of the promise of digital learning. Commitments like New Mexico’s are the essential first steps in this mission.”

Today’s announcement was made at W.D. Carroll Elementary School of Bernalillo Public Schools, where work has already started. EducationSuperHighway has also started working with Artesia Public Schools, Bloomfield Schools, Central Consolidated Schools, Cobre Consolidated Schools, Deming Public Schools, Espanola Public Schools, Farmington Municipal Schools, Gadsden Independent Schools, Gallup-McKinley City Schools, Hondo Valley Public Schools, Jal Public Schools, and West Las Vegas Public Schools.