U.S. Senator Tom Udall and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján announced today that the Federal Communications Commission will award over $5.1 million to support mobile broadband service in areas of the Navajo Nation and Picuris Pueblo lacking wireless coverage.
The FCC allocated a total of $5,149,628 to Smith Bagley, Inc. and Commnet Wireless, LLC “for mobile broadband service at Picuris Pueblo in Taos County and on the Navajo Nation, which spans New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Of the total award, more than $2 million will support wireless deployment over the next three years to 2,096 people living in New Mexico,” Udall and Lujan said in a news release.
“The FCC created the Tribal Mobility Fund as part of its reform of the Universal Service Fund. Through the initial phase of the fund, the FCC awarded a total of $49.8 million in one-time support to companies across five states that agreed to build 3G or 4G mobile broadband networks for currently under served Tribal lands,” states the release.
“Both Udall and Luján have strongly supported the expansion of broadband and wireless technology to Tribal and rural communities to help spur the growth of businesses and increase educational opportunities.”
“Wireless coverage not only keeps us connected but can truly save lives during an emergency, ” Udall said. “Wireless service in Tribal communities is vital for safety and security and to connect people and businesses around the world. This FCC action is a positive step forward, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep working until every New Mexican has access to high-speed Internet and wireless service.”