Turner named to Commission


Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the Rural Caucus of the Louisiana Legislature, has been appointed to a new commission designed to extend broadband Internet service across the state.

The lack of reliable Internet service, particularly in rural areas, has created problems for school systems attempting to have on-line classrooms and for students trying to complete class assignments during the COVID-19 crisis that closed schools.

“I’m excited about being among 25 people chosen to address this serious problem,” said Turner, R-Ruston. “Rural Louisiana has been underserved for years because Internet providers say it’s not profitable to extend broadband to less populated areas. We’re tasked with working around that.”

The Broadband for Everyone in Louisiana Commission, created by an executive order issued by Gov. John Bel Edwards, calls for a 25-member panel to execute a statewide plan to extend service. The commission includes a number of telecommunications representatives, three legislators – the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and Chairman of the Rural Caucus – and the heads of numerous state agencies.

The executive order specifically appoints the chairman of the Rural Caucus because of the group’s outreach in rural areas where improved Internet service is needed most.