BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana state treasurer confirms that the state treasury is ready to receive $176.7 million in Coronavirus Capital Projects Funds for broadband.

“The pandemic shined a spotlight on the lack of internet for citizens across the state,” said State Treasurer John Schroder. “Internet is no longer a luxury. It’s the same as electricity and running water. Without it, there’s no quick access in terms of safety, health, and education for citizens and there’s definitely no economic development.”

The Associated Press recently reported that Louisiana is one of four states to receive the first allocations of federal funding for broadband access. Schroder said, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Louisiana’s share of the $10 billion funds will help to close 25 percent of the gap of locations across the state that currently sit without high-speed internet access.

“I don’t agree with all the relief dollars the federal government has flung at the pandemic or how much of it has been spent, but there is no doubt that every penny coming to Louisiana for broadband is desperately needed,” said Treasurer Schroder.

Schroder said Louisiana is to provide internet access to nearly 88,500 homes and businesses through the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) program.