LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — Spectrum representatives joined Gov. John Bel Edwards and other community leaders to break ground on the construction of a fiber-optic network buildout through broadband.
This will ultimately bring gigabit broadband and other Spectrum services to over 500 homes and small businesses in Livingston Parish.
“Despite recent programs, there are still so many people across the state who do not have access to a reliable and affordable internet connection,” says Edwards. “Spectrum’s buildout in Livingston Parish is bringing affordable high-speed connectivity to rural, unserved communities.”
The leaders believe that the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) broadband program, will help people in the parish afford high-speed internet.
Through the partnership with Spectrum, Governor Edwards believes that it is a step toward improving health outcomes, growing our economy, and enhancing the quality of life for so many Louisianans.
Through ConnectLA and Louisiana’s Office of Broadband Development & Connectivity, Spectrum was recently awarded a GUMBO grant of $1.73 million. Spectrum has committed to invest an additional $1.25 million to extend its broadband network in the parish, bringing total investment in the Livingston Parish project to almost $3 million. The goal for the fiber optic network is for everyone in the parish to have affordable internet access by 2029.
“Whether it’s a residential address or a business address, it will be because they choose not to have it. Not because it isn’t available,” said Edwards.
The Livingston Parish GUMBO grant is one of three awarded to Spectrum to expand the fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that currently lack access to high-speed connections. Spectrum has received over $10 million in GUMBO grants to help connect more than 2,100 homes and small businesses across three Louisiana Parishes.
To help celebrate the project’s groundbreaking and advance the community’s digital literacy efforts, Spectrum donated $6,000 and 15 laptops to the Southeastern Livingston Center, whose mission is to improve the level of education and quality of life for the citizens of Livingston Parish.
“Livingston Parish is one of the fastest growing parishes in the state and the south,” said U.S. Congressman, Garret Graves. “It is critical that the infrastructure maintains pace with this growth, which is why utilizing federal funds in collaboration with Livingston Parish, charter, and the state is so important.”
State Rep. Buddy Mincey Jr., of District 71 says after COVID-19, there has been a growing demand for affordable high-speed internet.
“Growing pains are tough,” says Mincey. “We have spent a lot of time trying to get to this day, and we’ll continue to work hard for another investment.”
Through the Affordable Connectivity Program, eligible households can get a discount of up to $30 each month for internet service. Click here to check for eligibility.