Rural Louisianans have felt shut out without broadband—the state has a plan to change that
An estimated 475,000 households across Louisiana have never had high-speed, affordable, reliable internet. The state has been working at a "feverish pace" to change that. In all, Louisiana will receive nearly $2 billion for projects, including grants from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Treasury, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The state has drawn from a number of sources to improve access. It used pandemic relief dollars from the American Rescue Plan to create the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunity (GUMBO) program, which offers grants to providers to subsidize the expansion of broadband to 80,000 homes, businesses, schools, and other locations. The state has also benefited from the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, another creation of the bipartisan infrastructure law. In total, Louisiana is expected to receive $1.35 billion from the BEAD program, the eighth-largest allocation in the country.
Rural Louisianans have felt shut out without broadband. The state has a plan to change that