Push for broadband internet continues in Central Louisiana – KALB

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – Nearly one in three people in Louisiana do not have access to high-speed broadband internet. On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the push to bring that service to unserved areas went a step further.
A digital divide exists throughout many communities in Louisiana, meaning many households lack internet access or have limited providers or options.
However, through programs like the G.U.M.B.O. Act, or Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Options Act, Louisiana is now positioned to receive more than one billion dollars over the next five years, a move that Connect LA said will give many residents the opportunity for full participation in our society, democracy and our economy.
“If you think about the challenges in Louisiana and the lack of having internet,” said Veneeth Iyengar Executive Director of Connect LA. “It prevents a small business owner, and we heard from a small business owner today, in their ability to generate revenue, hire employees and it prevents a teacher from doing what they need to do best, which is teaching folks using a variety of different modalities.”
Wednesday’s meeting also introduced a new survey that was recently launched to give residents a chance to talk about their experience with broadband internet at home, school or work.
“The survey itself will ask people about their learned experiences with their families and experiences with themselves,” said Jimmy Sawtelle, Chancellor of Central Louisiana Technical Community College. “But also, the experiences of their churches and their community organizations, and what we can do as a state to put together an equity plan that bridges the digital divide.”
The survey takes anywhere from seven to 11 minutes to complete. If you are interested, visit connect.la.gov.
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