State-Federal Collaboration Creates Opportunity

State-federal collaboration creates opportunity

Louisiana Expands Access to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

American Rescue Plan helps expand broadband across the state

Louisiana Expands Access to Affordable, High-Speed Internet

Nearly 15,000 Louisiana residences and businesses are in line to get faster and more affordable internet access over the next two years thanks to $35 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF).

Louisiana was one of the first four states to have its broadband grant plan formally approved in 2022, helping to transform internet infrastructure and close the digital divide in the state. The Louisiana plan is known as the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) grant program. 

This work is especially vital for rural residents who do not have access to a reliable or affordable internet connection. Internet infrastructure issues became even more urgent during the 2020 pandemic when students and workers without reliable internet access were unable to participate in virtual classrooms or work from home like other Americans. But thanks to CPF, that’s all about to change.

“This funding through the American Rescue Plan will help connect thousands of homes and businesses in Louisiana with affordable high-speed internet and help close the digital divide in communities where connectivity is needed most.”

- Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo

Upon completion, Louisiana’s broadband infrastructure will support download and upload speeds of 100 megabits per second for nearly 88,500 homes and businesses currently lacking access to high-speed internet. Connecting these communities via broadband will not only bolster the economy but will also expand access to educational opportunities and generally improve the quality of life for thousands of Louisiana residents.  

This $35 million is part of the second round of funds distributed by Louisiana’s GUMBO program, a broadband infrastructure competitive grant program. This comes after the first round of $130 million, helping to provide internet access for more than 66,000 households and small businesses. The state estimates that the CPF award will narrow the digital divide for approximately 25% of all areas lacking high-speed internet access in Louisiana.