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Initiative hopes to connect rural Louisiana residents to the Web

It may seem like most of the United States is connected to the internet, but the truth is there are still plenty of areas in the country that don't even have the technology to access it. With help from telecommunications professionals, one of those regions is on its way to the Web.

The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, more commonly referred to as the LSU AgCenter, and the Louisiana Division of Administration's Office of Technology have joined forces in an initiative to educate rural state residents that are under-connected to the internet.

Bruce Garner, LSU AgCenter's broadband awareness education coordinator, explained to The Monroe Louisiana News-Star that the state has some of the "poorest economic conditions" in the country. The four-year project, named "Connect My Louisiana," is specifically geared towards 18 parishes in northern parts of the Bayou State.

So far, Garner has been educating the residents in these factions about the basics of broadband internet, and he said in a press release that he plans to do more in-depth training in the spring. His audiences have included a wide variety of demographics from civic groups to parents of 4-H members.

“The success stories are more related to clientele who are just happy to know that the AgCenter is providing training, and they can get answers to questions without someone trying to sell them something,” Garner said.

When businesses are looking to implement new Wi-Fi, DSL or cable services into their operation, they can benefit from a similar no pressure situation with the help of telecommunications expert. Consulting agencies can help organizations compare, purchase, apply and manage new systems to ensure that the company makes informed decisions and uses the technology effectively.