U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Press Releases

Was this page helpful?

Vice President Harris, Commerce Deputy Secretary Graves Travel to Louisiana to Highlight Historic Broadband Infrastructure Investments Coming to the State


Visit Follows the Announcement of a $29.9 Million Broadband Infrastructure Grant to Serve More Than 22,000 Households in Louisiana

On Monday, March 21, Vice President Kamala Harris and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves traveled to Sunset, Louisiana, to hear directly from Louisianans about the struggles they face due to the stark digital divide and lack of access to fast, affordable, and reliable broadband. The Vice President and Deputy Secretary delivered a strong message that help is on the way thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which sets out to achieve the ambitious goal of connecting all Americans to the internet.

“Throughout the pandemic, people depended on high-speed internet like never before. Business owners used the internet to sell their goods. Parents used the internet to buy their groceries. Seniors used the internet to see their doctor — young people to attend virtual classes. All without ever leaving home. So, for so many of us, the internet has been and continues to be essential for us to perform our everyday needs.  It is an integrated part of our daily lives,” remarked Vice President Kamala Harris. “In the 21st century, high-speed Internet is a necessity.  And, so, our administration is taking action. Last month, our administration announced we are distributing $277 million in grants to connect 13 communities from across our nation with high-speed Internet.  Communities in Maine, in Kentucky, Washington, Georgia, Texas, and here in Louisiana. In this community, we will invest nearly $30 million to connect more than 22,000 households to the fiber-optic network.”

“90% of Americans say that the internet has been essential or important to them during the pandemic. Yet, we know that access to broadband and the internet is not created equal, with more than 30 million Americans lacking access to reliable broadband, and the problem is worse in minority and rural communities,” said Deputy Secretary Graves. “Right here in Louisiana, nearly 20% of households do not have an internet subscription, and over 10% of people in the state live in areas where there is zero broadband infrastructure. This is an injustice, and it must end.”

“Affordable, high-speed internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, participate equally in school, access telemedicine, use precision agriculture, and stay connected,” said Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor and White House Infrastructure Coordinator. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help ensure every American has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet so we can level the playing field and close the digital divide. These grants, in Louisiana and across America, are a down-payment on this important work.”

In an effort to reach the President’s ambitious goal and ensure that all Americans, including those living in Louisiana, have access to broadband, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced this past month that it has awarded $29.9 million to expand broadband in the Acadiana region, including Acadia Parish, Evangeline Parish, and St. Landry Parish. The award will be used to fund the Acadiana Regional Public/Private Partnership project, which will fund last-mile broadband deployment to the Acadiana region of Louisiana and serve 22,196 households.

“These awards serve as a down-payment on Louisiana’s future and will pave the way for the $100 million that is coming to the state to expand broadband thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Graves added. “These investments, taken together, bring us one step closer to closing the digital divide in Louisiana and across the country by making sure Americans can access the internet and participate in the 21st-century economy.”

During their visit to the Pelican State, Vice President Harris and Deputy Secretary Graves were joined by Governor John Bel Edwards and Executive Director for the Louisiana State Office of Broadband and Connectivity Veneeth Iyengar for a tour of Sunset Library, where they met with community members impacted by broadband connectivity issues.

Including the grants provided to Louisiana, the Department of Commerce previously awarded a total of 13 grants as part of the Broadband Infrastructure Program. These grants, totaling more than $277 million, will be used to connect more than 133,000 unserved households in Georgia, Guam, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

"Having accessible and affordable high-speed internet service is vital to everyday life whether for education, healthcare or economic development,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I am grateful to Vice President Harris and Deputy Commerce Sec. Graves for coming to Louisiana to announce this historic investment that will serve as a significant building block in addressing the challenges that hundreds of thousands of Louisianans currently face when it comes to accessing affordable high-speed internet. This aligns with the work we have been doing since 2019, and we will use this grant in combination with funds received through the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help achieve our goal of eliminating the digital divide."

“Today I was proud to welcome the Vice President and Deputy Commerce Secretary Graves to Louisiana,” said Congressman Troy Carter. “We heard directly from residents about the challenges they face due to lack of access to affordable, high-speed broadband and delivered a vision of a brighter future. Thanks to the President’s Infrastructure Law, which I was proud to support, we are now one step closer to bridging the digital chasm that has held back parts of Louisiana for far too long. With this $29 million award and the anticipated total $100 million coming our way, we will ensure Louisianans, wherever they live, can better advance their pursuits through reliable access the internet.”

Building on these investments, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a historic $65 billion investment to expand broadband in communities across the U.S. NTIA is preparing to launch a series of new broadband grant programs funded by the law that will build broadband infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost broadband service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.