Two broadband proposals for parish submitted for GUMBO funding

The digital divide in Lincoln Parish may be getting a little smaller, thanks to two proposals that may be funded by the Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities program. 

Altice and AT&T have both submitted proposals to ConnectLA for the GUMBO program. 

The total funding request for all the applications throughout the state is $440 million, with $711 million in total project costs and an average of 40% of total project costs in matching funds. With applications coming from 58 parishes, this figure represents requests for broadband projects in every corner of the state. In addition, the proposed applications seek to provide high speed internet to 215,000 households and 14,000 businesses. 

In Altice’s proposal, the company estimates that it will cost a total of nearly $1.7 million to complete a full fiber-to-the-home buildout to 460 total locations. Altice is proposing a 50/50 partnership with the state to complete the project, which will require $849,652 in GUMBO grant funding. Altice USA will fund the remaining cost for the project. 

AT&T has proposed construction of a symmetric fiber network capable of delivering multi- gigabit per second service speeds to unserved areas of the parish. The proposed project area’s current level of service is within distribution areas where at least one or more customers are without speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. AT&T would build out the fiber network to cover 100% of the customer locations within a distribution area, including building to customer locations within a distribution area that currently have speeds that meet or exceed 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. This will make symmetric speeds of up to 1 Gbps available to all of AT&T’s proposed customer locations.  

In addition, the GUMBO projects will create a tremendous number of job opportunities throughout the parish and state as these projects are constructed and maintained over the next several years. Employment opportunities will extend to students throughout Louisiana, as applicants have worked with numerous technical and community colleges to develop workforce plans. 

“The volume of applications we’ve received and the enthusiasm for broadband we’ve encountered from municipalities throughout the state reaffirms just how important our work is to Louisiana,” Veneeth Iyengar, ConnectLA executive director, said. “As we review applications and grant awards in the following months, we will grow closer to our goal of eliminating the digital divide by 2029.”  

ConnectLA is using third-party reviewers to evaluate each application with objective scoring metrics. These 23 metrics will evaluate a wide range of subjects, including experience, technical ability, financial wherewithal, provider matching funds, number of households/businesses served, scalability and small business entrepreneurship. All applications are public and can be accessed at Nearly $90 million will be granted in the first round of GUMBO funding.  

Awards will be announced in March with construction starting as soon as May. 

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