High-Speed Internet Access Comes to Some 500 Homes and Small Businesses in Livingston Parish | New
High-speed Internet access is coming to more than 500 homes and small businesses in Livingston Parish.
Spectrum, an internet service provider, announced that it had received a $1.73 million grant to help fund the expansion of Livingston Parish’s broadband infrastructure.
Spectrum received the funds through the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) grant and has also pledged to invest an additional $1.25 million to expand its broadband network in Livingston Parish. The total investment in the Livingston project will be nearly $3 million.
Infrastructure limitations in the rural parish of Livingston became particularly difficult at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when children were confined to their homes to complete school work virtually.
Spectrum’s $1.73 million grant is part of a $10 million GUMBO award to help connect 2,167 homes and small businesses in three Louisiana parishes: Livingston, St. Landry and St. Tammany. The state’s Office of Broadband Development & Connectivity, ConnectLA, distributes the grants.
In St. Landry Parish, the Acadiana Planning Commission reported last year that more than one in three homes lacked broadband access.
U.S. Representative Garret Graves said Livingston Parish “has been waiting for this” and the grant is the result of years of work between parish, state and federal partners.
“A more reliable internet could make the difference in bridging the gap for kids in a postcode (area) who may not be able to do their homework, or a small business that needs a boost. hand to increase real-time online marketing,” Graves said in a statement.
Jack Varnado, chair of the Link Up LIVINGston committee, which was formed to address broadband connectivity issues in the parish, said Livingston welcomes the expansion.
“Rep. Buddy Mincey Jr. worked with the Livingston Parish Council to create the Link Up LIVINGston Committee,” Varnado said. “The committee worked with vendors to bring broadband infrastructure investment to the parish. of Livingston, as well as with other entities to provide digital literacy opportunities.”
Brent Golleher, senior director of government affairs for Spectrum in Louisiana, said in a statement that “public-private partnerships are a vital strategy for connecting unserved communities.”
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at Sunset earlier this year to promote $29 million in funding to provide high-speed internet access to more than 22,000 households and 3,000 small businesses in rural parts of the Louisiana.