Outranking just two other states, New Mexico is the 49th most-connected state in the country. According to averages from speed tests, New Mexicans experience average download speeds of 93.1 Mbps, which is faster than many higher-ranking states. However, access to a high-speed wired broadband connection remains inconsistent in many areas throughout the state. The areas with the best coverage are generally in the northwest and southeast parts of the state.
The Digital Divide in New Mexico
In terms of availability and affordability, there is a significant division between those who have access to low-priced internet in New Mexico and those who do not. This digital divide is seen in the fact that while 83% of New Mexico’s residents have access to wired broadband capable of 25 Mbps or faster, about 342,000 people still do not. Further, 387,000 New Mexicans only have access to one wired internet provider at their place of residence, leaving no option to turn to if they are dissatisfied with their provider’s service or pricing. Another 122,000 residents do not have any wired internet providers offering internet services where they live.
Additionally, according to recent affordability data, only 12.5% of New Mexicans have access to an internet plan that costs $60 or less per month. This is much lower than the national average of 51.5% of consumers who have access to a low-priced internet plan.
Despite New Mexico’s low-ranking, there are some very well-connected areas of the state, including some areas with strong access to 1 gigabit broadband. With the highest-ranking city listed first, the best-connected cities in New Mexico are Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Clovis, Roswell, and Rio Rancho.
On the other side of the aforementioned digital divide lay the worst-connected cities in New Mexico. With the lowest-ranking city last in the list, the cities with the worst internet accessibility in the state are Sunspot, Lakewood, Malaga, Lincoln, and Taos Ski Valley.
In recent years, New Mexico’s legislation has launched several initiatives in an effort to map, plan, and expand wired broadband access throughout the state. The New Mexico Broadband Program has been the grantee of over $4.76 million in federal funding, and another $76,978,670 to put toward broadband infrastructure projects.
Additionally, in 2018, New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission approved twenty-three projects aimed at connected 33,000 residents living in rural areas with wired broadband services.
The above information is pulled from a mix of public and private datasets. Find out more about our data here.