BEAD INITIAL PROPOSAL, VOLUME 1
Established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program allocated more than $42 billion nationally for the construction of broadband networks, the establishment of subsidies to offset the cost of internet service for qualifying households and the creation of training programs to equip users with a digital skillset. The BEAD program also provides grants to states for these purposes.
In collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, ConnectLA has developed a first volume of our proposal for how we plan to use these funds and address Louisiana’s digital divide. This volume outlines current efforts to deploy broadband, a breakdown of unserved and underserved locations and an overview of the process to challenge a provider’s service availability and performance.
We asked you, as a broadband stakeholder, to review this draft proposal with a critical eye and provide as much constructive feedback as you could. This final version has public feedback and new data incorporated into its framework.
BEAD INITIAL PROPOSAL, VOLUME 2
Of the $42 billion given to states for broadband by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Louisiana received more than $1.35 billion, the eighth-largest in the nation and 10th-largest per capita. This funding will allow Louisiana to eliminate the digital divide, once and for all.
While the BEAD Initial Proposal Vol. 1 laid the groundwork for the state’s broadband efforts, Vol. 2 details our plans for distributing grants and project areas to providers, initiatives that will ensure a robust workforce and programs to help every Louisianian take advantage of high speed, reliable and affordable internet.
This volume was open for public comment from Aug. 25–Sept. 25, 2023. Public feedback and new data were incorporated into an updated volume before being submitted to NTIA.
FIVE-YEAR ACTION PLAN
ConnectLA was founded with the goal of eliminating the digital divide in Louisiana by 2029. The comprehensive Five-Year Action Plan lays out the priorities of ConnectLA, adheres to guidance set out by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and outlines how BEAD funds will be allocated throughout the state.
The plan is informed by the number of unserved and underserved households, businesses and community anchor institutions in the state, in addition to research conducted for the Digital Opportunity Plan. We invite you to read our goals for increasing access, adoption, affordability, digital opportunity and inclusion, digital skills and economic development.
DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY PLAN
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance defines digital opportunity as “a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.”
In partnership with the Blanco Public Policy Center, ConnectLA has developed the following plan which outlines Louisiana’s first coordinated effort to assess the state’s digital divide and move the state toward digital opportunity. The plan focuses on more than just how we can provide faster internet. It lays out strategies for how to make internet affordable and accessible and how to equip residents with the skills needed to fully participate in today’s digital world.
We asked you, as a broadband stakeholder, to review this draft plan with a critical eye and provide as much constructive feedback as you could. The public comment period is now closed, and we are using your suggestions to create an updated plan.