High-Speed Internet expansion coming to rural areas of North Louisiana

High-Speed Internet expansion coming to rural areas of North Louisiana
News conference at the foot of AT&T wireless tower in south Bossier Parish announcing internet expansion. (Source: Semmie Buffin/KSLA)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - More than 54-thousand homes and businesses in rural areas of north Louisiana will soon have access to hi-speed internet service. And it's all thanks to millions of dollars from Uncle Sam.

NLA internet announcement

Pointing at a diagram, at the foot of a wireless tower, AT&T Regional Director Robert Vinet explained, "You'll have radios on the tower that will go out wirelessly to a fixed wireless antenna at a house."

Vinet described how their new fixed wireless internet service is now available in rural parts of north Louisiana which had little to no access to broadband beforehand.

"So this product's going to go a long way in helping close that digital divide. The last mile of connectivity has always been the most challenging. And we figured out a way to do it wirelessly."

AT&T is one of three internet providers helping implement the "Connect America" program through 22 million dollars in federal funding, for fiber, wireless and satellite connections.

"It helps businesses. It helps hospitals. It helps everybody. If a business wants to move to rural parts of Louisiana they have to have high-speed internet to compete," said Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

In fact, Campbell told us this program will allow more than 54-thousand rural homes and businesses in north Louisiana to gain access to high-speed internet service.

This project is not just about improving the speed but also, in some cases, having the connection at all. Just ask the husband and wife Evan and Erica Falbaum who both work out of their home.

She explained, "I have a hundred seventy-five thousand followers online so I try to do live streaming and some days I can't even do it."

The Falbaum's are just hoping this program may be able to help them stay online and work faster.

Foster Campbell represents District 5 of the Public Service Commission which includes all or parts of 24 parishes in North Louisiana... many of which are sparsely populated areas.

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