Bytes & Bandwidth – Connecting Louisiana: A Blueprint for Broadband Deployment

USTelecom’s Bytes & Bandwidth is an original podcast series created specifically for the broadband industry. During each 30-minute episode, we discuss the many life-changing opportunities made possible by broadband and how innovation is connecting communities. 

In episode 3, host Lynn Follansbee, vice president of strategic initiatives and partnerships at USTelecom, sits down with Veneeth Iyengar, executive director of ConnectLA, the state of Louisiana’s broadband efforts. The two talk about Louisiana’s success in being the first state to have NTIA approve its Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) proposal, specific aspects of the plan, meeting the low income option of the proposal, timeline for implementation, and best practices for approval.

Show Notes

Veneeth Iyengar is the first executive director for the state of Louisiana’s broadband efforts (also known as ConnectLA). He is responsible for coordinating efforts among federal, state and local leaders in allocating nearly $1.6 Billion in federal funds to eliminate the digital divide in Louisiana by 2029.

He and his team are considered thought leaders in the broadband community for their rapid scale up and execution of federal dollars to impact the 1.7 million residents in Louisiana who lack high speed internet. Louisiana’s efforts have been recognized nationally, and he is often asked to speak at events hosted and or organized by the Pew Charitable Trusts, National Governors Association, Consumer Electronics Show, Fiber Broadband Association, National Conference of State Legislators, US Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA Summit, Federalist Society, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institute and leading other organizations.

ConnectLA’s work also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Politico, Axios, Fierce Telecom, Telecompetitor, Associated Press, Semafor, The Advocate, USA Today’s network of newspapers and other leading telecom publications.