According to the FCC, "Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society – for all Americans. For that reason, the FCC has adopted comprehensive reforms of its Universal Service Fund (USF) and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) systems to accelerate broadband build-out to the 18 million (in 2011) Americans living in rural areas who currently have no access to robust broadband infrastructure. This reform will expand the benefits of high-speed Internet to millions of consumers in every part of the country by transforming the existing USF into a new Connect America Fund (CAF) focused on broadband.
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced $2.16 million to expand and build broadband access in 2,792 locations across East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, St. Helena, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.
The funding comes from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Connect America Fund (CAF). This is phase 2 of round one CAF awards.
“I commend AT&T and the FCC for their continued commitment to promoting investments in high-speed Internet throughout Louisiana,” Sen. Landrieu said. “These funds will upgrade the digital infrastructure in rural communities, provide our small businesses the tools they need to sell their goods and services along mains streets across the country and globe and further improve quality of life for residents. I will continue my work and partnership with these companies and other providers to help rural communities in the capital region bridge the technology gap with their urban counterparts.”
AT&T accepted $6,869,000 in CAF funds to serve 8,864 locations in 11 Louisiana parishes.
The Connect America Fund is part of the FCC’s initiative to bring broadband access to rural communities. Overall 41 states received over $255 million in funding as part of this announcement.
A parish-by-parish breakdown of locations to receive upgraded broadband service follows:
- East Baton Rouge Parish: 132 locations; $102,300
- East Feliciana Parish: 1,327 locations; $1,028,425
- Iberville Parish: 8 locations; $6,200
- St. Helena Parish: 620 locations; $480,500
- Pointe Coupee Parish: 102 locations; $79,050
- West Baton Rouge Parish: 210 locations; $162,750
- West Feliciana Parish: $304,575