Internet Expanded for San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico

NMSurf will install a new 40-foot-tall wireless facility that will provide 1 gigabit service to the pueblo’s administrative offices and 50 Mbps to all residences within sight of the utility pole.

by Teya Vitu, The Santa Fe New Mexican / July 3, 2019
Shutterstock

(TNS) — Internet service at the San Ildefonso Pueblo, which is a census designated area in New Mexico, will move into the modern day in the coming weeks. NMSurf, a provider based in Santa Fe, N.M., will install a new 40-foot-tall wireless facility that will provide 100 megabits per second service — or 1 gigabit — to the pueblo’s administrative offices and 50 Mbps to all residences within sight of the utility pole.

This $40,000 project replaces scattershot Internet service at San Ildefonso, where the administrative office operates on less than 2 Mbps through copper wire and other sections of the pueblo vary from 25 Mbps down to no Internet service, said Terry Aguilar, project manager for San Ildefonso infrastructure projects and a former pueblo governor.

San Ildefonso Pueblo is located on 4.2 square miles between Pojoaque and Los Alamos, N.M., with 177 tribal households and 450 non-tribal households, Aguilar said, but the service will extend beyond the pueblo boundaries as far as the signal reaches.

“There is so much possibility with this service,” San Ildefonso Gov. Terry Martinez said. “Pueblo administration will be a lot more efficient working with banks and the federal government. Sometimes now I wait for a minute for basic information to download.”

Martinez said better Internet service is also coming to the pueblo’s senior center, library, learning center and anyone within sight of NMSurf’s pole. NMSurf will be the first provider transmitting from the pueblo-owned utility pole. Aguilar said at a later date other Internet service providers will be invited to use the wireless facility and cellular phone service may also be added.

NMSurf President Albert Catanach believes this new wireless facility takes a small bite out the U.S. Census Bureau’s ranking New Mexico at No. 48 among the least connected states for broadband.

“At least 50 percent of the pueblo is underserved,” Catanach said. “Underserved is less than 25 Mbps.”

NMSurf already serves the other 50 percent of the San Ildefonso Pueblo.

The groundbreaking for the wireless tower was June 25 with service expected to be operational sometime in the second half of July.

©2019 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Platforms & Programs