An estimated 332,000 rural Louisiana residents, including just over 2,700 in Bossier Parish, will gain access to high-speed broadband following a Federal Communications Commission Rural Digital Opportunity Fund phase 1 auction.
Released auction results show more than $342 million will be allocated to Louisiana to expand broadband to 175,692 unserved homes and businesses over the next 10 years.
In Bossier Parish, more than $5.8 million will be directed to five bidders and will serve 2,769 residences and businesses, according to figures released by the FCC.
Winning bidders and the number of locations that will be served in Bossier Parish include:
Altice USA, Inc.–99 locations.
AMG Technology Investment Group, LLC—442 locations.
CenturyLink, Inc.—227 locations.
Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium—546 locations.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp.—1,455 locations.
Nearly all locations in Louisiana that were eligible for the auction will be receiving access to broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with an overwhelming majority (82%) getting gigabit-speed broadband.
“This historic auction was the Commission’s single largest step ever taken toward delivering digital opportunity to every American and is another key success in our ongoing commitment to universal service,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus, who is a member of the governor’s Broadband for Everyone in Louisiana Commission, said the news is good for the state and for the parish.
“This is very good news for people who need to be connected, especially during this COVID crisis,” Altimus said. “Hopefully other sales in the near future will help continue the expansion of broadband to rural areas where it’s really needed.”
Altimus said the FCC auction also opened the door to money that isn’t always available in local government budgets.
“This supplements what we are trying to do locally, and helps subsidize our efforts here to deliver high speed connectivity to rural residents,” he said.