In a recent interview with Louisiana Radio Network, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell commented on Louisiana’s relatively high number of residents who do not have Internet access.
“It’s a damn shame, it does nothing but hurt the people of Louisiana,” Campbell said. “The money is not there, and that’s why we don’t have all the connected spots we need, because it’s not profitable.”
Campbell is right: Louisiana needs to secure more investment in its digital infrastructure to continue attracting businesses to the state as well as to make sure its residents do not get left behind as we move toward a more digital future.
The Advocate noted the importance of technology to our state’s economy in a recent editorial – Our Views: Broadening a tech base:
“…there have been some notable instances of new technology companies coming to the state in recent years, along with digital media and moviemaking.
A state Innovation Council appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal met recently under a large screen adorned with instantly recognizable logos of nationally and internationally known companies with new technology operations in Louisiana.”
Not only is investment in our state’s digital infrastructure beneficial to luring new businesses to the state and making sure all residents have access to broadband Internet access, but it will also help Louisiana’s current industries expand and thrive.
While Louisiana has recently seen a dramatic increase in investment in the state’s digital infrastructure, there is room for improvement when compared to the rest of America. Citizens for a Digital Future encourages our community leaders and policymakers to support public policy that is pro-tech investment.
By creating a business friendly environment, we will see more companies investing in broadband expansion, and we will see it in locations that need it most, such as the rural areas Campbell mentions in the interview.
Providing access to rural areas is a challenge, but it’s a challenge we can solve. If the government partners with the private sector instead of over-regulating and dictating to it what kind of infrastructure it can install, we will see more meaningful investment in Louisiana.
Jacob Luneau is the Louisiana State Director of Citizens for a Digital Future – a nonprofit coalition of businesses that support investment in Louisiana’s digital infrastructure. To find out more about them, visit their website at www.citizensforadigitalfuture.org. You can also stay up to date on Facebook and Twitter.