High speed internet and its applications form the basis of economic and information networks around the world. In New Mexico as elsewhere, the expansion of internet access is an essential element of building those economies and networks. But while vital, access alone is ineffective without the ability to adopt and use digital technologies effectively. This requires that internet service and equipment is affordable for everyone, and that individuals, organizations, and communities have the opportunity to develop strong digital skills, regardless of location, educational level, or economic circumstances.
Currently, a large digital divide exists in New Mexico: those with internet connectivity, equipment, and skills are on one side and those without on the other. For those without internet service and skills, the impact is profound, reducing their access to healthcare and social services, limiting their educational opportunities, and lowering their employment and earning potential. In New Mexico, one out of every three residents is negatively impacted by the digital divide, cut off from the advantages that internet access and digital skills provide.
New Mexico Digital Inclusion Network (NMDIN) works to close this divide with a program that promotes digital inclusion and fosters digital equity. Our goal is that all New Mexicans gain equal access to a high-speed internet connection, digital tools and equipment, and quality skills training. We build inclusion through a program of outreach, awareness, resources, and support that make broadband more available, affordable and effective for more people in New Mexico. In addition to eliminating inequality, digital inclusion establishes a strong and equal foundation on which local economies can flourish, diversify and be self-sustaining.
The New Mexico Digital Inclusion Network (NMDIN) is a program of the New Mexico Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 dedicated to philanthropic support of strong, creative communities. These efforts include fiscal sponsorship of programs and alignment of donors with relevant projects. NMDIN is grateful to be a sponsored program of the New Mexico Community Foundation.
Our program of digital inclusion grew out of earlier work in digital literacy and broadband awareness done in New Mexico, which was funded by broadband grants from the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) and by the Broadband Program within the New Mexico Department of Information Technology. NMDIN is grateful for the early support that these programs gave to digital literacy and digital inclusion in New Mexico.