By U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
For some Americans today, logging on to the internet is as easy as going home and turning on the lights. And access to high-speed internet is becoming increasingly essential for economic and educational opportunities. However, in parts of New Mexico, and especially in tribal communities, a lack of access to high-speed broadband internet is leaving far too many of our children unable to learn and compete on an even playing field.
An estimated 80 percent of New Mexicans who live in Indian Country still lack consistent access to high-speed broadband internet, which means less access to educational, health, and career-related resources. We urgently need to provide the resources necessary to close this digital divide between tribal communities and the rest of the nation. Strengthening broadband access across rural New Mexico will improve education, boost the economy and increase public safety and civic engagement.
That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Tribal Connect Act this week with Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to steer much-needed federal investments to tribal communities to ensure that every single child can access high-speed internet. You can learn more by reading my op-ed in today’s Farmington Daily Times.
We must do all we can to make sure all of our children, no matter where they live or go to school, can learn the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. I remain committed to putting aside partisan politics in Washington to find ways to make forward-looking investments like this in New Mexico’s future.