FFL partners with City of New Orleans to enhance broadband access in City and Sewerage and Water Board Facilities

Lousiana’s

Foresite Group and FFL are designing a fiber-optic network that will enable the City of New Orleans to offer a new range of services to meet the growing expectations of citizens in vibrant urban environments. These services could range from new Smart City capabilities that improve public safety, allow for better communication with residents and improve energy efficiency to innovative ways to approach the digital divide.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2017

CONTACT: David Lee Simmons, Communications Specialist
dsimmons@foundationforlouisiana.org
(504) 352-2539

New Orleans – Foundation for Louisiana (FFL), in partnership with the City of New Orleans, has secured the services of Foresite Group to design a fiber optic network to connect public facilities across New Orleans and help the city be better positioned for the future.

“Many New Orleans residents lack access to the Internet. This design process is the first step in increasing access at city facilities to help increase digital inclusion in the city,” said FFL President and CEO Flozell Daniels, Jr. “Moving forward it is our hope to help build a new technological work force and have locally trained resources complete a significant portion of the design of this network while also developing comprehensive classes that will not only create jobs but also opportunities that have not been there in the past.”

Foresite Group and FFL are designing a fiber-optic network that will enable the City of New Orleans to offer a new range of services to meet the growing expectations of citizens in vibrant urban environments. These services could range from new Smart City capabilities that improve public safety, allow for better communication with residents and improve energy efficiency to innovative ways to approach the digital divide.

The City’s Chief Information Officer Lamar Gardere said, “The network will be the technology centerpiece for a smarter New Orleans for generations to come. From smart water meters to autonomous vehicles, this work leverages unprecedented levels of road and sewer line work to create a new era of Smart City services while giving the City a platform to address the digital divide.”

The partnership between FFL and the City of New Orleans is supported by the Ford Foundation as part of their work on Internet freedom by promoting digital rights and access for citizens through improved technology for the public interest.

Foresite Group has committed to contracting with two disadvantaged business enterprises (or DBEs) in New Orleans, as well as engaging in other workforce opportunities for the benefit of residents of New Orleans.

“New Orleans is unlike any City in the country and we want to bring state of the art technology to empower residents to experiment, cross cultural boundaries and span economic divides,” said Brian Snider, Network Design Director with Foresite Group. “With an environment for connectivity there is an opportunity to expose new talent from the local communities, art and culture advances, technology flourishes and economies thrive. Our vision is to connect people – to information, to ideas and to each other.”

Snider added, “Foresite Group is excited to work with FFL and the City of New Orleans to design this network in conjunction with all the other infrastructure improvement plans over the upcoming years. We will work with all departments and coordinate to only “dig once” and place the initial infrastructure path where construction is already planned to occur.”