Three parishes will see an expansion of high-speed internet access as the USDA commits $15.5 million into rural broadband.  USDA rural development state director Roy Holleman says this portion of the Reconnect Program covers 136 square miles of Iberville, Pointe Coupee and St. Landry parishes.

“It’s going to serve, on this case, about 2,600 households, 12 businesses, and 16 farms,” said Holleman.

Star Telephone Company will use the half grant and half loan funding to rollout 154 miles of optical fiber and 95 miles of drop optical fiber cable.  Holleman says there was a collaboration with various stakeholders to select the area.

“We’ve worked with the local politicians as well as Star Communications and they picked this area as a great first project for Louisiana.  You have to have it where it is profitable for Star,” said Holleman.

The money comes from the $600 million Congress provided to the USDA to expand broadband infrastructure.  A new round of loans and grants will rollout this Friday and Holleman says the goal is to secure more funding for the state.

“The Governor has just appointed a broadband committee and we are going to work along with them and identify areas and get broadband put in everywhere we can,” said Holleman.