WASHINGTON –United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, yesterday announced that the City of Ruston would receive $194,800 for the Ruston Technology Infrastructure Improvements Program. The funding was included in the omnibus appropriations bill that passed the Senate last weekend. The funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to construct the city-wide broadband network to be managed and maintained by the City of Ruston.

“This project is a critical step to generating jobs for the City of Ruston and the region,” said Sen. Landrieu. “Broadband infrastructure is essential to making sure our small businesses and communities can compete and grow.”

In April of this year, Senator Landrieu held a roundtable in Ruston focusing on broadband. The roundtable was with Federal, State, and local officials and discussed broadband opportunities from the Recovery Act.

Earlier this month, Senator Landrieu sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offering her comments on the impact of broadband technology on small business growth and economic development. Her letter comes in response to the agency’s request for public comment on the impact of expanding broadband internet access to rural parts of the country. To view a copy of the letter, please click here.

In total, the omnibus appropriations bill includes $45.9 million for Louisiana projects secured by Sen. Landrieu. Millions more were leveraged through key legislative provisions and competitive grant programs included in the bill. The bill now heads to President Obama to be signed into law.

Senator Landrieu has been a long-time advocate for the expansion of broadband internet service, and has remained actively engaged in the on-going discussions, particularly with respect to the growth of small businesses with the help of internet access. To view Senator Landrieu previous work on broadband expansion, please click here.