Although Louisiana is rated pretty low on the scale when it comes to many things, Louisiana is rated number 1 state in the nation when it comes to the progress being made in expanding broadband services, according to Gerald Long with Senator Bill Cassidy’s Office.
An Infrastructure Bill crafted by Senator Bill Cassidy and 9 other senators provided 1.2 billion for Louisiana for this broadband mission.
It has been projected that by November at the latest Louisiana will be the first union in the nation to receive the first round of funding in the amount of $220 million.
“We want to be progressive in doing what we promised we were going to do,” said Long. “This is personal to Bill Cassidy. He really wants Louisiana to excel. It is a game changer. It is going to change our economy. It is going to change our education system, even the way we worship. With high-speed internet affordable services to every home, we are going to be able to move on into areas we have never moved into before.”
One question that Long receives most often is, “why are my neighbors right next door eligible to receive internet services, but I am not?”
He explained, “That is the role and purpose of this program, to eliminate the digital divide, so that everyone will have access to highspeed affordable internet. We have found a very cooperative spirit with many of these providers. I use AT&T only as an example, but they personally told me, that if they go into an area that is clearly defined to what we are to provide services for. We are going to pick up that next street because we are already there.”
At last month’s monthly meeting at Claiborne Electric it was decided they would be partnering with Connexcom, a telecommunications provider to further expand internet services. The partnership will mean that Connexcom will be able to use Claiborne Electric’s light poles and by doing so, they will be providing internet services to all Claiborne Electric members.
Long confirmed this information and said he had previously attended a meeting in Claiborne Parish. He said, “A few days after that I received a phone call that Claiborne Electric and Connexcon have come to an understanding and agreement. This is going to speed things up so quickly, so that these providers will have access to equipment that is already in place.”
By the end of 2028 it is projected that Louisiana will have high-speed internet extended to 95 percent of residents and businesses.