Rural Parts of Louisiana May Soon See Dream of High Speed Internet
If you live in one of the incredibly many rural areas of Louisiana, you know exactly why so many others complain about the snail slow internet speed, if they have internet at all, they might have.
According to broadbandnow.com, Louisiana ranks 33rd in the United States for broadband access. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that we don't live in the 17 states who actually have it worse than we do.
However, that's no conciliation to someone who can only get internet connection through Hughes Net or another satellite provider, and can't enjoy television shows like the new "1883" because they are only streamed.
It's also a hindrance to anyone in these areas who might have a child forced into online education and the closest high speed they can get is at the McDonald's 15 miles away. No; those people have pleaded for answers for decades.
And now, maybe the solution is on the horizon!
The ConnectLA team is THE broadband resource in Louisiana. The Office of Broadband Development & Connectivity is housed in the Louisiana Division of Administration and strives to alleviate the digital divide in Louisiana. Our aim is to coordinate federal, state and municipal efforts identifying best practices and executing tactics to close the digital divide by 2029.
What's The Plan to "Close the Digital Divide?"
This state governmental agency just announced they've received applications from 23 companies for the first round of the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities or GUMBO program.
This means that nearly two dozen high speed broadband providers have applied for a total of $440 million to possibly help bring this long "slow speed internet" to an end.
ConnectLA executive director, Veneeth Iyengar, said “The volume of applications we’ve received and the enthusiasm for broadband we’ve encountered from municipalities throughout the state reaffirms just how important our work is to Louisiana,” Veneeth Iyengar, ConnectLA executive director, said. “As we review applications and grant awards in the following months, we will grow closer to our goal of eliminating the digital divide by 2029.”
How Soon Will This Happen?
Nearly $90 million will be granted in the first round of GUMBO funding. Awards will be announced in March with construction starting as soon as May.
Additionally, ConnectLA will begin the application period for the second round of funding in July, allowing for the construction of even more broadband projects in unserved areas of Louisiana.