Posted: Aug 19, 2010 10:59 AM by Russell Jones
Updated: Aug 19, 2010 3:43 PM
Louisiana is one of 37 states that will share $1.8 billion to increase broadband services for state residents, according to an announcement this week by the Secretary of Commerce.
Louisiana will receive $9.1 million of that money, which was awarded to DOC Nexus Systems. It's the latest round of broadband grants from the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law last year, and is intended to expand high-speed Internet capabilities at hospitals, schools and libraries.
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said that not only would this help connect the 36-percent of Americans that don't have access to broadband Internet, it would also put many telecommunications workers in those areas back on the job.
"That is simply unacceptable, and dial-up does not cut it," Locke said during a conference call with reporters. "Expanding access to high-speed Internet is a 21st Century version of Roosevelt's rural electrification program or Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System."
Nexus Systems will use the money to build a network in seven parishes in the north central portion of Louisiana, connecting as many as 110 community institutions, 133,000 people and 1,800 businesses to broadband. Nexus projects the work will create 135 new jobs.