BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana intends to spend $180 million over three years on grants to telecommunication firms that construct broadband internet infrastructure in underserved communities.
Officials are hoping to lessen a technology gap exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The Advocate reports the problem is particularly acute in Louisiana’s rural communities. That's where residents are widely dispersed and internet providers have little incentive to shell out the capital it takes to install fiber cables.
Louisiana lawmakers earmarked millions in federal coronavirus relief aid to try to address the problem, by subsidizing broadband projects. Gov. John Bel Edwards' newly created Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity will run the grant program.