Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Efforts to expand Internet service in the Las Cruces area seek public opinion

Doña Ana Broadband, DAB, an inter-agency collaboration bringing together households and businesses across Doña Ana County, will launch a survey on October 1st, which will be open to residents and business owners alike.

Fast, reliable internet will enable our community to learn online, access telemedicine, explore new careers, innovate and develop unprecedented opportunities. In order to develop a plan to expand our broadband network, all residents are encouraged to participate. “You can take the short survey in English at www.donaanabroadband.com or in Spanish at www.donaanabroadband.com/nuestra to help us develop a plan that includes you and your neighbors,” Bob Bunting, Doña Ana Named County IT Director.

The aim of the survey is to determine more precisely where people currently have internet, how fast they are, where people do not have access and why. “The current information we have is like a blurry picture of access to the Internet. By participating in this survey, local residents and businesses can help us get a clearer picture of all areas of the county, ”said Bunting.

“For the best results, household residents and business owners should complete the survey on their desktop computer in their respective location, as the survey includes a speed test. This test is important because it shows where internet access speed is slow and needs improvement, ”said Bunting.

“If you don’t have a computer in your home and you typically use a tablet or phone to access the Internet, please take the survey on that device,” said Bunting. “It’s important that we get survey responses from every resident and company. If you do not have internet access, please answer the “no access” survey. You can request a copy from any city government office, clinic, or via the link at www.donaanabroadband.com. ”Participants can either fill in answers online with someone’s help, or get a hard copy and send it to the county. DACC students enter printed survey responses.

The data collected will help create a broadband expansion plan for the county that will take three to five years, funding from various investors, and community-wide resources. An initiative of this magnitude requires all sectors to work together and DAB includes representing local governments, nonprofits, corporations and volunteers across our community, including The Borderplex Alliance, the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce , NMSU and DACC.

The towns of Anthony, Las Cruces and Sunland Park, the town of Mesilla and the village of Hatch will offer help to fill out the survey for people who currently do not have internet access.

DAB partners created communications to spread the importance of residents across the county who completed the survey. Representatives from Las Cruces City, Doña Ana County, and the Success Partnership have developed flyers and social media posts listing places where people who do not have access to reliable high-speed internet can help fill out the survey can get.

Clinica de Familia, Ben Archer Clinics and Health and Human Services promotoras will offer help with personal surveys. The Community Learning Network developed the survey tool, website, and print versions of the survey for those without access to facilitate participation.

DAB is a public-private regional partnership established to develop and implement a plan to improve access to affordable, efficient broadband, particularly for the underserved communities of Doña Ana County, by December 2024.

“DAB’s work is a multi-year effort that includes research, development and implementation. This broadband survey is an early step and part of the research needed to inform long term infrastructure plans across the county, ”said Bunting. “We look forward to everyone taking part in the survey so we can plan a connected Doña Ana County.”

Information from Doña Ana County

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