LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The work to bring high-speed internet to rural communities in Acadiana, has begun.

This comes after United States Vice President Kamala Harris visited St. Landry Parish last month.

During the visit, the VP announced that the region had been chosen to take part in a federal initiative to bring fiber broadband to underserved communities.

LUS Fiber is now bringing over 22,000 people reliable, high-speed internet.

“We are one of the 14 to actually get awarded (this grant), which is why Vice President Harris came down because we were able to assist in serving Ville Platte, which has the fifth lowest internet speeds in the nation,” a spokesperson for LUS said.

Vice President Harris stressed the importance of communities having high-speed internet when she came to Sunset in March.

At an LCG meeting Tuesday, a spokesperson for LUS Fiber, who is spearheading the project, explained the difficulties rural areas face without reliable internet.

“The outside regions, they just don’t have that accessibility. They don’t have that quality fiber infrastructure. So what we’ve seen in Church Point, their 911 and their phone lines go down once a month. Ville Platte can’t run their credit card machines. So we’re coming to an extremely underserved area, and we’re going to be able to provide them access,” he added.

Monique Boulet with the Acadiana Planning Commission also explains how bringing internet to underserved and high-poverty communities will benefit all of Acadiana.

“I do believe it allows us to begin to address poverty issues in those communities. You can’t not address education or health care or even the workforce without good internet, so I want to thank you all. I think this is going to be much more powerful than just bringing broadband to other communities. I really think it allows this region to look at some of our issues in a new way,” Boulet said.

Officials say the broadband project is expected to take two years to complete.