Campbell as written PSC Chairman Lambert Boissere to ask to be the commission’s representative on the newly revived Broadband Advisory Council. Governor Jindal announced earlier this month he is reviving this committee to lead Louisiana’s campaign to make broadband service available to all areas of the state.
“The federal agencies distributing stimulus money for broadband will favor those states that are organized and ready to act,” Campbell said. “I agree with the governor n reactivating the council and I want the PSC to lay an active role in it’s work.”
Campbell said the last act of the broadband council before it disbanded in 2005 was to draw a map showing areas of the state without broadband access.
“My North Louisiana PSC district was shown as having the least access to broadband. Everywhere I go, people are asking for it.”
The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” includes $7.2 billion for broadband development. Of that total, $2.5 billion has been allocated to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, for grants, loans and loan guarantees for broadband infrastructure in rural communities.
Another $4.7 billion has bee allocated to the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications Information Agency. This money is for broadband research and deployment and grants for public computer centers.
“Louisiana badly needs this initiative,” Campbell said. “For the sake of our rural and suburban communities, for our businesses and institutions, for our students and senior citizens, we need to get organized.”