During this year's Regular Legislative Session a task force was created to look in to how the state of Louisiana can help get broadband service to rural parts of our state.

Louisiana State Senator (District 12) Beth Mizell chairs the task force, and they recently held their first meeting at the Louisiana State Capitol.

Mizell says one of the big things she is hoping that the task force can accomplish is to get input from multiple sources on how best to solve the issue of rural areas having little access to broadband service.

Mizell says their task force, The Task Force on Access to Broadband High-Speed Internet Service, will be tasked with trying to put together a comprehensive broadband plan for the state Louisiana.

She says,

"It is encouraging to have stakeholders at the table, working together, and in agreement that rural Louisiana must have broadband access for our people. Rural Louisiana has been overlooked for far too long."

She adds they need to identify all of the issues that are blocking progress in this area, and they need to follow that up with solid recommendations on how to remedy the situation.

Mizell says,

"The lack of a statewide broadband plan in Louisiana is hurting us when it comes to funding expansion programs. Funding is critical to the development of infrastructure and infrastructure is necessary to revitalize rural communities."

She says in order for the state to access federal dollars for this program, we must have a statewide plan.