Internet speed meetings set for Oct. 1st

Published 12:14 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

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Citizens who are concerned about internet speed options in Washington Parish are encouraged to attend one of two meetings scheduled for next Friday, Oct. 1.

The first meeting will be at 3 p.m. at Bogalusa City Hall, and will be hosted by State Rep. Malinda White. The second meeting will be at 5 p.m. at the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church of Franklinton (located at 950 Self St.), and will be hosted by State Sen. Beth Mizell.

The primary speaker at each of the meetings will be Veneeth Iyengar, who serves as state director of the Louisiana Office of Broadband and Connectivity.

Iyengar will be speaking about the GUMBO (Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities) grant program in Louisiana, which could bring high-speed internet to parishes that do not currently have enough reliable broadband connection options. Broadband is typically defined as at least 25 Mbps for download speed, and at least 3 Mbps for upload speed.

Broadband proved to be an issue for many parish citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more economic and educational activity began taking place online — with programs such as Zoom requiring a high-speed connection to transmit live video.

At both meetings, parish citizens will be able to receive more information about the GUMBO program and broadband internet, and also be able to ask questions to Iyengar, White and Mizell.

State Sen. Beth Mizell