(Baton Rouge, LA/Jackson, MS): The Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation, a division of the Pelican Institute, and the Mississippi Technology Institute, a division of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, have released a comprehensive joint report on the status of broadband internet access in Mississippi and Louisiana.
The report can be read in its entirety here.
The state-based technology centers seek to provide information to policymakers and the general public on removing barriers to broadband deployment and being proactive to get the two states more digitally connected.
In a day of telework, remote learning, telemedicine, and increasing digital connectivity, there is a growing need for fast and reliable internet service. As policymakers work to address the questions surrounding broadband coverage, speed, cost, and infrastructure development, the report aims to provide a comprehensive point of reference.
Eric Peterson, Director of the Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation, noted: "In order to close the digital divide, lawmakers must be armed with the information necessary to overcome the challenges of broadband implementation. Lawmakers need to be informed on what areas lack access and what issues cause lower adoption rates. By understanding the causes of problems in broadband deployment, lawmakers will be able to make great strides in closing the digital divide."
The report emphasizes data-driven public policy as a driving force behind successful broadband deployment. Matthew Nicaud, Tech Policy Specialist for the Mississippi Technology Institute, noted: “Broadband deployment has extensive implications on the state infrastructure, economy, budget, education, tech innovation, and business growth. By providing data about the current status of broadband deployment, we hope to provide policy recommendations that are fiscally responsible and economically successful.”
The report was produced as a joint initiative by the technology divisions of the Pelican Institute and the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.
For more information on the report or to request an interview, please reach out to Hunter Estes, [email protected], at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy or Ryan Roberts, [email protected] at the Pelican Institute.