LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — LUS Fiber will be able to expand its services into rural Acadiana after obtaining a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
LSU Fiber will be working in conjunction with the Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) for the development and construction of the project. The EDA grant will fund the expansion of LUS Fiber’s certified all-fiber network through additional portions of Lafayette Parish, St. Martin Parish, and Iberia Parish. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 and is expected to be completed within two years.
“In a post-COVID economy, the challenge to bring reliable broadband to Acadiana’s rural communities has become as important as the delivery of other basic utilities,” said APC CEO Monique Boulet. “The capacity to upload, download and live stream, sometimes simultaneously while others in the office or home are doing the same thing has strong implications on Acadiana’s rural economic survival. Decisions that we make today about broadband expansion will determine which of Acadiana’s towns will survive in the future. Those left behind in broadband delivery will be just that – left behind.”
“This is definitely a win/win for Lafayette and surrounding communities,” said Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory. “It’s a great opportunity for LUS Fiber to deliver services to areas that either don’t have access at all or their options are very limited; and the increased revenue will be great for our community, as it means expanded infrastructure for our city and parish so that more and more homes and businesses can have access to fast, reliable broadband and the opportunities that come with it.”
“Fiber is truly the fundamental network technology for the 21st century, providing the needed underlying infrastructure to ensure residents and businesses have access to reliable, future-proof internet. This is an initiative I’ve sought for years knowing it would have a substantially positive economic impact in our area,” says Iberia Parish President Larry Richard.