The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission delivered its Second Report of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to the New Mexico Legislature Concerning the State Rural Universal Service Fund to the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee on October 1st, 2021. This report was made pursuant to Section 63-9H-6(Q) of the Rural Telecommunications Act of New Mexico (the “RTA”) (NMSA 1978, Sections 63-9H-1), as amended by House Bill 10 in this year’s regular session of the Legislature. The amended RTA requires that, “[b]y October 1 of each year,” the Commission make a report to the Legislature “regarding the status of the fund.” NMSA 1978, §63-9H-6(Q).
Pursuant to the amended reporting requirements, the report included relevant data relating to the State Rural Universal Service Fund’s (“SRUSF”) Broadband Program and relating to “the progress toward digital equity and digital inclusion in rural areas of the state.” Id. The report included a spreadsheet listing every Broadband Program award made by the Commission during the three full years of the program so far, which table states the service area in which each funded project is located or is to be located, the amount of the award, and the name of the broadband carrier that received the award. Id. Finally, the report included the recommendations of the Commission with regard to the RTA’s $30 million annual cap on the SRUSF and with regard to auditing the use of SRUSF funds by the rural incumbent local exchange carriers and evaluating the success of projects funded by the Broadband Program in meeting their stated goals.