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Gov. Edwards Praises $1.36 Billion Broadband Expansion Investment from Federal Government — 8th Largest in the U.S.

BATON ROUGE – Today, President Joseph R. Biden announced that Louisiana has been awarded $1.36 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the expansion of affordable, reliable high-speech internet service. These funds represent the 8th largest allocation in the country, and this announcement marks more than $1.87 billion in total federal funding for broadband expansion in Louisiana over the next 5 years when combined with other funds from the US Treasury, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

“No one is working faster to eliminate the digital divide than Louisiana, and this major investment will allow us to get it done,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I want to thank President Biden, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and the NTIA for recognizing and supporting our important mission of making broadband available to all Louisianans, and I want to thank Senator Bill Cassidy and Congressman Troy Carter for voting for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made this investment possible. This broadband expansion will accelerate the growth of Louisiana’s economy while increasing access to education and health care. We will work urgently to deploy these funds and ensure that 100 percent of Louisiana businesses and residences receive access to high-speed, affordable, and reliable internet by 2029.”

“Today’s allocation announcement represents a historic federal investment. When combined with other federal funds from the US Treasury, FCC and NTIA, this will represent more than $1.87 billion in investment in Louisiana over the next 5 years,” said Veneeth Iyengar, executive director of ConnectLA. “With private sector matching dollars, we anticipate total investment will be more than $2.3 billion. Additionally, several of Louisiana’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have received grants to upgrade their broadband infrastructure, two of our federally recognized tribes have received federal grants to improve broadband service on their reservations, and last week we announced a grant to bury nearly 225 miles of fiber underground in North Louisiana.”

This award is in addition to the more than $250 million in treasury funds and private sector match that have already been committed through the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) grant program to impact well over 80,000 locations.

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