Louisiana Plans Huge Broadband Internet Expansion for Residents
Louisiana is planning on spending $180 million on areas of the state that don't have access to high speed internet.
The state will be spending the money over a three year period, giving grants to telecommunication companies to construct broadband internet infrastructure in rural areas of the state. During the pandemic, Louisiana lawmakers realized we have a huge technology gap in our state.
In Louisiana's rural areas, telecommunication companies have little incentive to shell out the big money it takes to install and maintain broadband internet services. The population of these communities are usually small, and neighbors could be miles apart.
During the pandemic, parents and students had to search for reliable internet to log into virtual classrooms. Many of them were forced to sit in the parking lots of fast food restaurants or public libraries.
Louisiana lawmakers earmarked millions of federal coronavirus relief aid to tackle this problem. Recently, Governor Edwards created the Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity to run the grant program.
Preliminary reports say the $180 million will bring 145,000 Louisiana households high speed internet. Veneeth Iyengar, head of the Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity, said Louisiana would need to spend upwards of $1.1 billion for every household in the state to have broadband internet.
For more in-depth details on how the state intends on running this program, click here.