AT&T is committed to widespread broadband deployment, including serving those who live and work in hard-to-reach and remote areas.
Even with the latest technology, in some areas, broadband deployment is not economically viable. To address that problem, in late 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernized its Universal Service program to support networks capable of providing broadband and voice services. It created the Connect America Fund (CAF) to expand broadband in rural areas where market forces and economics do not support expansion.
AT&T has elected to participate in the second phase of the CAF program in Louisiana, committing to deploy broadband to nearly 75,000 rural homes and businesses. AT&T Louisiana will receive almost $28 million annually over the next six years, to help meet the CAF commitment in the State.
"The new CAF funds, combined with AT&T’s latest technology, will help us significantly close the broadband Internet access gap in our state," said Sonia Perez, President of AT&T Louisiana. "It’s very exciting."
"I am encouraged that AT&T is accepting these funds to bring high speed internet services to rural Louisiana in areas currently not served as well as those underserved by the current infrastructure," said Clyde Holloway, Louisiana Public Service Commission Chairman. "This build-out of technology may be the game-changer needed for families and businesses in rural Louisiana. We know the vital role the internet plays in business, education, healthcare and other essential services, so this news brings optimism. I look forward to hearing more details in the coming weeks."
In these new deployment areas, AT&T will deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads.