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Roundtable event held to discuss statewide plan for broadband

Executive Director Veneeth Iyengar
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Posted at 9:27 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 10:59:44-04

The Acadiana Planning Commission, University of Louisiana, and LEDA held a question and answer session Tuesday afternoon with Louisiana Executive Director for Broadband Veneeth Iyengar.

Iyengar is responsible for advising Governor John Bel Edwards on a statewide plan for broadband in the state.

While in Acadiana, Iyengar held a broadband round-table event with local businesses, local and regional economic developers, and elected officials on the topic of broadband needs in Acadiana.

The newly-created Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity was created by Gov. Edwards, Louisiana being one of few states that has a dedicated broadband office. Its goal is to address the importance of broadband and high-speed internet, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iyengar said the pandemic has brought to the forefront the critical importance of access to reliable high-speed internet.

The office will focus on digital skills, digital inclusion, understanding the relationship between broadband at agriculture, education, etc. and how to make broadband a tool to work closely with the government, Iyengar explained. He added that broadband is important to bring and keep Louisiana residents in-state, instead of residents heading to other states.

Iyengar spent the day and plans to spend the upcoming weeks meeting with members of the community to listen and understand the needs and perspective of the Acadiana area when it comes to broadband.

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