SANTA FE (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission has awarded about $18 million to telecommunications companies to expand access to high-speed cellular phone and wireless Internet service in central and southeastern New Mexico.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced on Wednesday that about $9.5 million will go to Plateau Telecommunications in Clovis, $6.7 million to Leaco Rural Telephone Cooperative in Dexter and $1.8 million to T-Mobile West.

The companies were selected by the FCC (http://bit.ly/T37Yqy ) after submitting bids for building new mobile telecommunications infrastructure.

Udall said the projects are to be completed in three years and will offer advanced wireless network access to nearly 18,000 new road miles in the state.