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On heels of VP Harris, Senator Cassidy talks broadband funding in Evangeline Parish

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Posted at 11:04 AM, Apr 11, 2022

Senator Bill Cassidy was in Evangeline Parish on Monday to announce funding to build broadband infrastructure in several parishes.

At an event at Ville Platte High School, Cassidy told those gathered that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will fund a $29.9 million grant to build broadband infrastructure in Evangeline, Acadia and St. Landry Parishes.

According to the senator, the grant will cover most of Evangeline Parish, including Ville Platte High School. Cassidy also visited with town and elected officials along with the Acadiana Planning Commission at the Evangeline Parish Courthouse.

The grant says the Acadiana Regional Public/Private Partnership for the Deployment of a Fiber to the Home Network in the Rural Underserved Areas of Acadiana project is a last-mile broadband deployment in the Acadiana region of Louisiana that is designed to bring qualifying broadband to 22,196 unserved households across the region.

Last year, Cassidy also helped pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which will make more money available for communities wishing to expand broadband service. The IIJA provides $65 billion for broadband infrastructure.

Last month, Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris was in St. Landry Parish to announce funding for broadband communications in several parishes in Acadiana.

While in Sunset, Harris said high-speed internet is a tool that is needed, but it's especially needed by children.

Thirty percent of St. Landry Parish households don't have high-speed internet, Harris said. Students are sitting in fast-food parking lots to access WiFi to do homework, she said. Older folks are doing telemedicine visits in public libraries, she said.

The bipartisan infrastructure law contains billions to lay miles of fiber to help households lower their monthly bill or get access, Harris said.

Harris also announced $60 million in flood resilience funding, with $40 million earmarked for Louisiana.

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