By Kate Kellogg, The Washington TimesRead more"We're looking at a situation where a large part of the market is still not paying for internet service and they're looking to take advantage of a situation that we think could help a lot of people in rural areas," said Steve Kestler, an analyst with Forrester Research, who tracks wireless broadband."It's a bit like the cellphone market in the 1990s, w...
As Louisiana’s new governor, Bobby Jindal promised to give state residents the option of high-quality, state-of-the-art Internet.
But he has failed to deliver.
Last month, he gave up the initiative.
The state still lacks the infrastructure to provide high-bandwidth Internet service, which has long been a state priority.
The problem, the state says, is the existing infrastructure, which is inadequate and has failed.
But it hasn’t stopped the state from trying to fix it.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management is now tasked with developing a plan to bring Internet service to the state, and it’s calling on the public to help it.
“We have a lot of high schools, a lot to offer, but we need the support of the community,” said DSP spokesman Dave Wittenberg.
The department’s goal is to get the first service in the state up and running by December 2019.
But that won’t be easy.
Many residents in Louisiana live far from the nearest city or town and rely on mobile Internet providers like AT&T, which operate a network of service providers that often serve smaller communities.
In Louisiana, AT&O is the state’s largest wireless carrier, with about 1.2 million customers, while the nation’s largest is Comcast.
The city of New Orleans has only about 3,000 AT&Os.
The service provider has struggled to compete with wireless carriers in other states.
It also has to contend with a high number of complaints about its customer service, the largest of which is a 2015 investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.
AT&L has been trying to make its wireless service available to more people in Louisiana for years, but the FCC hasn’t required the company to open up its networks to new service providers.
“It’s the same old story with AT&P and with ATO,” said Chris Broussard, a former FCC commissioner and current president of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
“You have two providers that compete for the same market and the same price, so they’re both underfunded and under-resourced.”
So why isn’t Louisiana on the path to broadband?
There are two main reasons, according to Wittenburg.
First, ATO is not a public utility.
The company’s primary goal is its own profit.
The government also subsidizes the company, which makes up less than 1 percent of the company’s revenue.
The other big reason is that the state is only planning to build about 5,000 miles of high capacity fiber optic cable by 2021.
That means there is no way to have a nationwide high-capacity network of high speed fiber optic fiber, according Toomey.
“The fact that you can’t build fiber to the end of the world, it makes it really hard to get a lot done in Louisiana,” said Toomeys co-chair, Gov.
The current state plan is to build a $5 billion fiber optic network across the state by 2021, but to reach the full 5,100 miles it would have to build another $8 billion in fiber to every one of the state.
“There is a lot that we don’t have access to now.
It’s just not going to be able to sustain itself,” said Brousard.
“This is something that is going to require us to invest in the next phase of this project.”
The state is also trying to build its own fiber optic networks, but has been stuck on the subject.
In fact, according the federal government, Louisiana�s broadband infrastructure has fallen short of what is needed to support the growing Internet needs of the 21st century. “
That�s not how you get a long-term, robust, competitive broadband network,” said Wittenenberg. “And that�s the problem we�re facing.”
In fact, according the federal government, Louisiana�s broadband infrastructure has fallen short of what is needed to support the growing Internet needs of the 21st century.
“Louisiana has had some great investments in its broadband network, but those investments have not translated into a strong broadband network that is reliable, flexible and affordable to consumers,” said the Federal Communication Commission.
The FCC also noted that the current state plans are based on a “bunch of outdated, flawed assumptions about how high-tech broadband should work.”
The Federal Communications Board also warned that the Louisiana plan would “fail to address the challenges of expanding broadband deployment in a state that has struggled in other areas to make investments in high-value networks.”
The Louisiana Office of Economic Development said in a statement that the plan would help the state meet its “long-term broadband objectives” and “will allow us to take advantage of the many new opportunities for economic development in our state.”
The Office of Telecommunications Infrastructure is tasked with managing and operating the state�s fiber optic system, and its website shows