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City Broadband Office Connects the Community to Internet Resources

Internet Resources Fair part of effort to close Albuquerque’s digital divide.

Oct. 8, 2022

The City of Albuquerque’s Broadband Office hosted its first Internet Resources Fair on Saturday, October 8 at the International District Library. The free event was part of an effort from the City to close the gap in internet connected homes and available digital inclusion resources by bringing awareness and support to the community.

“Broadband is now an essential service needed to ensure quality of life,” said Catherine Nicolaou, City of Albuquerque Broadband Manager. “Education, communication, connection, and so many resources are moving online - and everyone in our city needs to have direct access to all of it. To help make this happen, we decided we have to be proactive to bring everyone together, from private companies, government, and community partners, and meet directly with the community one-on-one.”

40 people attended the in-person event, where attendees could learn about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal benefit intended to help more people get high-speed Internet at home, how to get connected through local internet providers, how to access free public WiFi, and the benefits of quality internet access and education. The Department of Senior Affairs shared resources on how to stay connected online. Attendees were also able to easily discuss potential needs, barriers to services, and experiences related to broadband access.

At the fair, local internet providers Verizon, Comcast, T-Mobile, AT&T and Vexus Fiber provided information and support on the ACP and were able to sign 9 new people up for the program. Currently the percentage of eligible New Mexican households enrolled in the ACP is 47.3 percent and nationwide 37.4 percent.

The ACP program is coordinated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and offers households that qualify discounts of up to $30 a month on high-speed Internet, with up to $75 a month if the households are on tribal lands. In addition, participants can get up to $100 to offset the cost of devices they need to access the Internet, including laptops, Chromebooks and tablets. The benefit is applied directly to the qualified household’s internet subscription bill through its provider.

To learn about the Broadband Office and how to get connected in Albuquerque visit www.cabq.gov/broadband.