Dec 1, 2009 9:08 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana is getting a $1.7 million federal grant intended to spread high-speed Internet connections to rural communities and other areas with lesser online access.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the state's grant amount Monday. It comes from a $7 billion pot of federal stimulus money.
Louisiana will receive $1.2 million for data collection and for mapping which communities do not have broadband access, and another $500,000 for planning ways to improve high-speed access.
The program will be run by the Office of Information Technology in the governor's Division of Administration. Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis says access to affordable broadband
Internet service improves public safety, health care and education.
States that receive the grants must put up at least 20 percent in matching funds.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)