Louisiana rural broadband task force holds 1st meeting

Published 3:39 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Task Force on Access to Broadband High-Speed Internet Service, chaired by District 12 State Sen. Beth Mizell, recently held its first meeting at the Louisiana State Capitol.

The Task Force was created during the 2019 Regular Legislative Session by Mizell’s Senate Resolution 177 to address growing concerns over Internet and broadband access in Louisiana’s most rural areas.

Mizell said that that the goal of the Task Force is to bring together stakeholders, citizens, and officials to study current impediments and devise solutions to achieve statewide access to high-speed Internet service.

“It is encouraging to have stakeholders at the table, working together, and in agreement that rural Louisiana must have broadband access for our people,” Mizell said. “Rural Louisiana has been overlooked for far too long.”

One of the Task Force’s first matters of business is to provide input relative to the creation of a statewide broadband plan. While federal dollars are available for expanding broadband service, most grants require there be a statewide plan in place.

“The lack of a statewide broadband plan in Louisiana is hurting us when it comes to funding expansion programs,” Mizell said. “Funding is critical to the development of infrastructure and infrastructure is necessary to revitalize rural communities.”

To view Senate Resolution 177 or to learn more about the Task Force, visit online at www.legis.la.gov.