2 minute read | June.06.2023
Louisiana Connected, a technology company that was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the systemic broadband blight in rural and urban Louisiana, and the city of Mansfield, are pleased to announce a partnership allowing the company to construct a fiber optic network that will deliver high-speed internet service directly to the homes and businesses in this Northwest Louisiana town.
The Mansfield City Council, on May 22, 2023, voted unanimously on a Binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Louisiana Connected to design, build and operate the fiber-based broadband municipal system.
Louisiana Connected will fully-fund the multimillion-dollar construction and operation of the Mansfield network with private capital.
"Since the pandemic, I have worked alongside the City Council to fulfill the desire of many residents for efficient broadband in the city,” said Mayor Thomas Jones. “I am excited to be on track with my goal to deliver on that strategic plan and look forward to a collaborative partnership with Louisiana Connected going forward.”
“We applaud Mayor Jones and the City Council’s leadership whose vision for world-class internet infrastructure for Mansfield made this announcement possible,” said Donnette Dunbar, CEO of Louisiana Connected. “We are grateful for the City of Mansfield’s support and look forward to providing them with a network that will support their goals for growth and prosperity.”
An Orrick team led by Charles Cardall negotiated the Binding MOU, which came on the heels of a five-month state-required feasibility study so the city could receive complete cost estimates for the system’s buildout as well as identify the neighborhoods with broadband deficit.
“Internet access has become as critical for learning, business and health as electricity and gas for basic living,” said Charles. “Data shows 42 million Americans still have no access to broadband and millions more have low level connections, which is why Orrick is excited to apply our expertise to get these communities online and unlock the myriad social and economic benefits that emerge with improved digital equity.”