Covering Louisiana

Dec 6, 2013 3:22 PM by Letitia Walker

Funds to expand rural broadband access for Southwest LA

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu announced today a plan to expand and build broadband access in 1,360 locations across Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes. The $794,800 in funding comes from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Connect America Fund (CAF).

"I commend Century Link and the FCC for their continued commitment to promoting investments in high-speed Internet throughout Louisiana," Sen. Landrieu said. "These funds will upgrade the digital infrastructure in rural communities, provide our small businesses the tools they need to sell their goods and services along mains streets across the country and globe and further improve quality of life for residents. I will continue my work and partnership with these companies and other providers to help rural communities in the Southwest Louisiana bridge the technology gap with their urban counterparts."

According to Landrieu's press release, CenturyLink accepted $1,217,550 in CAF funds to serve 2,208 locations in 14 parishes.

"CenturyLink is excited to be able to accept more than $1.6 million in Connect America Funds to bring broadband to more than 3,000 unserved homes and businesses in rural Louisiana, where high-speed Internet service would not be economically feasible without public-private programs like the FCC's Connect America Fund," said John Dreher, CenturyLink's vice president and general manager for Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. "We're focused on expanding our local broadband service because we recognize it will help bring more essential educational and economic opportunities to our home state residents and businesses."

A parish-by-parish breakdown of locations to receive upgraded broadband service follows:
· Acadia Parish: 68 locations; $37,400
· Allen Parish: 318 locations; $174,900
· Beauregard Parish: 632 locations; $348,275
· Calcasieu Parish: 63 locations; $35,775
· Jeff Davis Parish: 279 locations; $153,450

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