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State of Change: Four Pueblos Build Their Own Internet Access

April 6, 2018 – The Middle Rio Grande Pueblo Tribal Consortium was created to connect the Pueblos of Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San Felipe and Santa Ana to high speed internet. The collaboration is unique because the tribes are leading the work themselves with a grant from the federal government.

Internet access on tribal lands across the state is spotty and expensive. That creates challenges for students, health care providers and anyone who needs to get online to take care of an everyday need.

This week correspondent Antonia Gonzales visits libraries and digging sites for the project to learn more for the State of Change project, a collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network and media partners across New Mexico.

About the State of Change project:

In small towns in New Mexico and the West, life is changing quickly. More young people are moving away from rural places than into them. Some New Mexico communities are trying to escape generations-long boom-and-bust cycles, while others struggle to retain their identity in an economy flooded with tourists and newcomers. Internet connections that could power remote businesses in rural places lag behind urban centers. New Mexico, along with the rest of the rural West, is in a state of change. 

Over the past year, a group of New Mexico news organizations investigated the challenges to building resilient rural communities, and found a lack of high speed internet holds communities back. Now, they bring you stories about the complex barriers to launching internet connections in most rural areas, and show you the tribes, towns and schools who are doing it better. This project is supported by High Country News and the Solutions Journalism Network, and is funded by the LOR Foundation.