Broadband to be expanded in Northeast Louisiana - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Broadband to be expanded in Northeast Louisiana

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WASHINGTON (KNOE 8 News) – U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Friday announced $109,700 to expand and build broadband access in 197 locations across Franklin, Lincoln and Union parishes. The funding comes from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Connect America Fund (CAF). This is round two of phase 1 CAF awards.

"I commend Century Link 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 Northeast Louisiana to bridge the technology gap with their urban counterparts."

CenturyLink accepted $1,217,550 in CAF funds to serve 2,208 locations in 14 parishes.

CenturyLink is excited to be able to accept more than $1.6 million in Connect America Funds to bring broadband to more than 3,000 unserved homes and businesses in rural Louisiana, where high-speed Internet service would not be economically feasible without public-private programs like the FCC's Connect America Fund," said John Dreher, CenturyLink's vice president and general manager for Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. "We're focused on expanding our local broadband service because we recognize it will help bring more essential educational and economic opportunities to our home state residents and businesses."

Earlier this year, Sen. Landrieu and U.S. Senator David Vitter, R-La., sent a letter to the FCC urging them to release the remainder of these phase 1 CAF awards for CenturyLink.

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.

Last year, Sen. Landrieu announced $3.35 million in funds from the CAF Mobility Fund to expand mobile broadband coverage along 2,100 miles of highway in five Central Louisiana parishes.

A parish-by-parish breakdown of locations to receive upgraded broadband service follows:

· Franklin Parish: 17 locations; $10,700

· Lincoln Parish: 163 locations; $89,650

· Union Parish: 17 locations; $9,350

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