Grant issued to expand broadband coverage in Central La. - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Grant issued to expand broadband coverage in Central La.

Posted: Updated: Oct 4, 2012 12:42 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C., (KNOE 8 News) - Mobile broadband coverage will be expanded soon along the I-49 corridor in Louisiana.

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., announced $3.35 million to expand mobile broadband coverage along 2,100 miles of highway in five Central Louisiana parishes. The funding is from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first "Mobility Fund" auction.

The wireless broadband expansion along more than 2,100 miles of I-49 also includes major roads in Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine and Vernon parishes.

"These funds will provide Louisianians who live, work and travel along Central Louisiana's major roads faster and more reliable mobile Internet and also support job creation and enhanced public safety," Sen. Landrieu said. "It's no longer enough for businesses and towns to be located along a river, railroad or highway. To be truly competitive in today's global economy your community must be on the Internet superhighway. With these upgrades to local infrastructure, Louisiana businesses will be able to reach new customers, and residents will be connected faster than ever to libraries, hospitals and other resources around the world."

Phase One of the FCC Mobility Fund is designed to use $300 million in savings from cutting waste and inefficiency to help close gaps in mobile coverage across the United States. As a result of the auction, new mobile infrastructure deployment will begin in 31 states with areas that currently lack access to 3G or 4G mobile service.  In total, up to 83,000 new U.S. road miles on which millions of Americans live, work, or travel will gain access to advanced mobile networks that significantly enhance opportunities for jobs, education, healthcare and public safety. 

A parish-by-parish breakdown of miles of road to receive upgraded wireless broadband follows:

  • Grant Parish: 34.59 miles; $250,003.02
  • Natchitoches Parish: 492.51 miles; $859,389.21
  • Rapides Parish: 235.4 miles; $465,395.80
  • Sabine Parish: 364 miles; $598,784.54
  • Vernon Parish: 1,001 miles; $1,182,777.46
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