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Bring telecom regulation into the 21st century

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By Sherry Robinson

We need better broadband access and infrastructure in New Mexico, especially in the rural areas. This year, the Legislature took a big step forward with a bill to spend $50 million over five years to bring broadband to schools statewide.
The Democrats are congratulating themselves for this success, and they should. But they can’t congratulate themselves for the state’s backward attitude toward telecommunications regulation. Telecom is the flip side of the same coin. It’s one reason neighboring states move forward, while New Mexico remains stuck.
Senate Bill 159, which the governor signed, allows the state to buy hardware for schools to link to the Internet. It’s a real plus for education.
Senate Joint Memorial 4 got less attention. It creates a task force to study what role the state should play in building broadband infrastructure so that all New Mexicans have access to a broadband network.
Political reporter and blogger Steve Terrell has been throwing cold water on legislative memorials as a waste of time and paper, and I mostly agree with him. Memorials can also provide the information and arguments to support future legislation.


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