NewsIberia Parish


Iberia Parish granted $5.2 million for broadband expansion; servicing thousands of residents.

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 23:41:01-04

Iberia parish is expanding its broadband services.

The multi-million dollar project...will enhance wifi services for nearly three thousand residents in the area across several cities.

The $5.2 million expansion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and Granting of Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities or “GUMBO,”

Morgan Daring lives in the Coteau area she says wifi is a necessity and being able to use wifi without issue is essential. And says services need improvement.

“It's not the greatest sometimes when I go home I try to get on Netflix, it doesn't work at all," Daring said. “Everybody struggles with bad WiFi. Technology is growing every day, so everyone should have the chance to experience good Wi-Fi Fi,” she added.

She believes wifi is something everyone should have.

"If it’s just small cities that are having problems, then I think everybody should be able to have wifi," Daring said.

According to Parish officials, the new fiber plan will be more reliable because it will be installed into the ground making it stormproof.

Cajun Broadband will expand in the Coteau area, including both sides of Hwy 90. Totaling $3.1 million.

While Southern link will expand in the Loureauville and Jeanerette areas. In a total award amount of $1, 092, 808.

"This is going to be quick. Up to 10,000 megabytes per second. So this is something that we do not have on a consistent basis in Iberia Parish. And we're trying to get them everywhere." Iberia Parish President M. Larry Richard said.

The wifi expansion will give businesses and homes faster, more reliable internet. Richard also says Fiber to home and business is what’s needed to keep everyone competitive.

Representatives from Cajun Broadband say the expansion, will give businesses and homes a faster more reliable form of internet. And they believe the Coteau market is a great place to start.

“We knew this area [Coteau] was in bad shape and the houses were somewhat close together. So we get to a lot of houses. The money that we have is a lot of money. But the price per house was not that expensive, and these people need help. So our next round we're going to keep on going and make the big donut around New Iberia," Cajun Fiber Managing Director Chris Disher said.

"With fiber to the home, fiber connected directly to the house. It gives everyone the opportunity to apply for jobs that are out of state you know, work from home, with big Oldfield companies, their purchasing department, accounts receivable are all work from home opportunities for everyone in Iberia Parish to apply for that type of position,” Cajun Broadband Managing Director Jimmy Lewis said.

Cajun Broadband customers will also be able to apply for the American Connect Program which could take 30 dollars off their bill if eligible.

Construction will begin in October and could take three to six months to complete.

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