County to apply for broadband funding

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By Jennifer Garcia

An item placed on the consent agenda and slated for quick approval was pulled and put on the regular agenda for discussion during Tuesday night’s county council meeting.

Councilor Ralph Phelps pulled the item pertaining to the approval to submit an application for a broadband infrastructure grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for further discussion.

Members of the Regional Economic Development Initiative have identified broadband as northern New Mexico’s number one infrastructure priority.

This year, according to county documents, the seven local governments involved in the REDI, in partnership with tribal governments and community institutions in Northern New Mexico, are developing a plan for deployment of an open, regional broadband network.

The documents further state that under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service (RUS), which are subcomponents of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the REDI region plans to submit the following applications for broadband federal stimulus funding:

• Santa Fe Regional Telecom Coalition (BTOP),

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