NM faces huge digital divide despite investments

Posted at: 02/24/2013 2:40 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico faces a huge digital divide even though its rural areas have benefited from roughly $400 million in broadband development in recent years.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's rural development director for New Mexico tells The Albuquerque Journal that many of the state's rural zones still have no Internet coverage, and many that do are still using dial-up modems or aging DSL technology.

The lack of digital access in certain areas of the state plays a critical impediment to economic stability.

New Mexico faces more hurdles than many other states in building remote connectivity because of its vast rural nature.

Such broad distances and low population densities make digital infrastructure expensive to install and prevents many commercial providers from laying fiber optics or other broadband technology without government assistance.

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