LASALLE PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On August 31, 2022, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards was joined by federal, state, locally elected officials, and community leaders for the inaugural Broadband Solutions Summit to announce that over $35 million will be distributed to bring affordable high-speed internet to nearly 15,000 locations withing the next 18 to 24 months. The second wave of the distribution through Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities will impact Vernon and LaSalle parishes.

Also at today’s event, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced that Louisiana is the first state in the nation to receive two grant awards funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will help expand internet service statewide: a State Digital Equity Planning Grant for $941,542.28 and a Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program planning grant for $2,000,000.

In 2019, we set a goal to close Louisiana’s digital divide by 2029, and this announcement is another step in the right direction. I am so grateful for the progress we are making thanks to help from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Some of us take access to broadband for granted, but there are still many people who do not have a reliable or affordable connection, especially in the rural parts of our state. If we can connect those communities, we will improve health outcomes, grow our economy, increase access to educational opportunities, and enhance quality of life for so many people.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards