WASHINGTON – The Louisiana Division of Administration (DOA), Office of Information Technology, this week was awarded approximately $1.7 million in broadband internet mapping and planning grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase broadband internet access to rural portions of the country.

“Expanding broadband internet access to rural America is a key component to spurring small business growth in Louisiana,” Senator Landrieu said. “By increasing broadband internet activity, rural small businesses will be better able to compete with companies in more technologically advanced parts of the country, thus leading to their success and giving them the tools they need to retain and create jobs in local communities.”

The award to the Office of Information Technology calls for approximately $1.2 million in broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period, and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a two-year period in Louisiana.

The Senator has been a long-time advocate for the expansion of broadband technology, co-sponsoring the Broadband Data Improvement Act that became law in October 2008. In June, she sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and others supporting their efforts to expand access to broadband technology for the benefit of small businesses. In the same letter, Sen. Landrieu asked that priority be given to applications deploying broadband in unserved rural areas.

To view more information on Senator Landrieu’s efforts to increase broadband internet activity, please click here.