Please give us a brief overview on the status of broadband connectivity in Lafayette.

LUS Fiber is in a position to deliver broadband to the City of Lafayette on a 100% community-owned, all-fiber network. Our network is expansive, and systemwide we can provide services up to 10 Gbps. Lafayette is also served by major telecoms such as Cox Communications and AT&T.

What concerns do residents have about broadband access?

The main question we often field from the public is our timeline for expansion into a specific neighborhood, as well as concerns regarding general affordability, and LUS Fiber’s response is threefold. Our expansion efforts are ongoing, within the City of Lafayette, the surrounding Parish of Lafayette, and into our neighboring cities. We are constantly evaluating our services to offer even greater value and quality, not only when compared to other providers, but to our own past performance as well. And we are actively researching and developing new potential avenues for building and supporting connectivity within the community. 

Has the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted broadband connectivity or spurred action to increase and/or diversify connectivity in Lafayette? Are there specific challenges that residents face as a result of COVID-19? Are there challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic?

As the residents of our community have adapted to learning and working remotely, in many cases a loss of income, and an overall greater need for connectivity with loved ones and the world, LUS Fiber’s robust, all-fiber network has exceeded, with unmatched reliability, the increased demand on and for broadband services. We have welcomed a substantial number of new customers dissatisfied with the congestion they’ve experienced on other networks, and we have rolled out new promotional options for greater access and affordability to those most affected by the current health crisis.

What are potential solutions to the broadband connectivity challenges faced in Lafayette? Are there organizations, initiatives, and/or individuals that are working to increase broadband connectivity/access that should be mentioned in this feature?

In partnership with United Way of Acadiana’s Learn United program, Acadiana Open Channel, Lafayette Parish School System’s Love Our Schools initiative, and the Acadiana Planning Commission, LUS Fiber has led efforts to establish public WiFi hot spots in lower-income neighborhoods, to extend rural broadband expansion, and to drastically increase the availability of low-cost, high-speed Internet to families with school-aged children. Each of these efforts are ongoing and will only continue to develop over the coming months.