New Mexico First Blog

Broadband Working Group Offers Recommendations in Education, Healthcare, and Economic Development

Report calls for government and industry technology initiatives in rural and urban New Mexico

After eight months of research and meetings, the NM Broadband Working Group announced the completion of its report: Broadband Assessment and Recommendations: Education, Healthcare, and Economic Development. The working group included experts in education, healthcare, economic development, and tribal issues.  

The report inventories current and emerging broadband and technology requirements, identifies barriers to meeting technology needs, articulates gaps, and describes a path forward.

The 22 policy recommendations outlined will enable government and industry to develop technology initiatives to bolster education, healthcare, and economic development in New Mexico – and thus strengthen the state as a whole.  Some proposals include:

  • Education: Ensure that schools have the equipment and training needed to administer PARCC testing. (PARCC is the new online student assessment aligned to the Common Core State Standards.)

  • Healthcare: Create a telehealth infrastructure fund to address New Mexico’s healthcare professional shortages and create long-term cost-savings.

  • Economic Development: Conduct a long-term broadband publicity effort emphasizing economic benefits, status, and actions required.

  • Crosscutting: Collaborate with existing private industry providers to pursue a state buying cooperative to purchase bandwidth for educational, healthcare, and public safety facilities.

Leaders from New Mexico Technet, New Mexico Telehealth Alliance, Employment and Economic Information Center of NM, 1st-Mile Institute and New Mexico First all contributed to the writing of this report. The working group was facilitated by New Mexico First. 

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