Despite being home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the world's premier science and research centers, New Mexico languished at 39th place in the 2009 Speed Matters survey. Its average download speed of 3.8 mbps was hardly changed from the previous year. Just over half of households had internet service in 2007 and more than 11% still got dial-up from their ISP.
A 2008 report ranked the state 46th in terms of internet users. The Federal Communications Commission stated only 78% of New Mexicans had access to a DSL service and only 77% could access a cable modem service, both below the national average. An 'Invest New Mexico' plan that was launched in 2008 was criticized for failing to properly address how to improve broadband service provision.
There are several initiatives that use funding from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service to deliver broadband internet services to rural areas and Navajo and Pueblo reservations. Various internet providers are developing both wireless internet access networks and community fiber optic cable networks. The New Mexico State Library received almost $1.5 million stimulus funding to support the expansion of high speed internet access through the Fast Forward New Mexico initiative.
Internet provider Computer Services Network Professionals has also applied for $6.3 million in stimulus grants to fund the development of wireless services to underserved areas. Verizon Wireless has also improved wifi availability by expanding its 3G service in 2009, having invested more than $30 million in New Mexico and El Paso in 2008
With a largely arid climate, New Mexico is mainly composed of deserts, high plains and mountains, with much of the latter being heavily forested. The state has little surface water, with relatively low precipitation.
New Mexico is a leading crude oil and natural gas producer, while tourism and federal government spending are major contributors. The largest city is Albuquerque, followed by Las Cruces, Rio Ranch and Sante Fe, the state capital.
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Cities in New Mexico likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Roswell. Locations in NM with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.