The jungle book

Broadband investment brings excitement and hope to Lake Providence

LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. (KNOE) — On July 25, Governor John Bel Edwards announced a $130 million investment in high-speed internet, including $4 million for services in East Carroll Parish.

The prospect of high-speed connectivity is generating excitement in a place once cited as one of the poorest places in America.

“It’s tough days, so broadband is a must,” said Lake Providence attorney Janna Messina Kiefer.

The money will be used to connect nearly 900 addresses in Lake Providence, ushering in the way residents work in the 21st century.

“You take it for granted, having the internet,” Messina Kiefer told KNOE. “In a big city, you expect that, but when you come to these rural towns, it’s just a disadvantage. So I think it will be great for Lake Providence and its growth.

Messina Kiefer works as a criminal defense attorney. She says she lost signal several times during Zoom hearings for clients.

“It’s going flat. I’m just sitting there. It’s terrible,” Messina Kiefer said. “Then I have to try to go back, and I have to text the ADA and say, I can’t just can’t access the internet.”

Cermisha Wilson, a longtime Lake Providence resident, received satellite internet in her home for the first time last month. She says reliable and reliable broadband will allow her to spend more time with her grandchildren and take care of herself.

“School is about to start. It will be a plus,” Wilson said. “They can always come to Granny’s and do their homework instead of rushing home every day. All that. My prescriptions, my doctor’s appointments, my transportation schedules, I can do it all online now. »

Wilson adds that a reliable internet connection could bring more businesses to Lake Providence, giving her grandchildren the opportunity to stay closer to home.

“They won’t have to move after they graduate,” Wilson told KNOE. “If all of this goes as planned, a lot of people would probably go home instead of venturing out to other states.”

Governor Edwards said Monday that the service should be operational in 14 to 15 months.

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