Gov. Ron DeSantis Awards More Than $22 Million to Eight Florida Communities Through Broadband Opportunity Program

By  //  April 10, 2023

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More Than $22 Million Awarded to Eight Projects

Governor Ron DeSantis announced a second round of awards through the Broadband Opportunity Program to expand broadband Internet access in Florida’s underserved communities.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Governor Ron DeSantis announced a second round of awards through the Broadband Opportunity Program to expand broadband Internet access in Florida’s underserved communities.

More than $22 million was awarded for eight projects across eight Florida counties for broadband Internet expansion that will impact more than 33,200 unserved residential, educational, business and community locations.

These awards are in addition to $144 million the Governor awarded in February, bringing Florida’s total investment to $166 million for the expansion of broadband Internet in Florida’s rural communities.

“Investing in reliable internet infrastructure strengthens local economies and opens up new opportunities for students, businesses and families,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

“I am happy to award this $22 million to support Florida’s small and rural communities and I look forward to making more awards in the future that expand internet access to all Floridians.”

In February, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the first awards through Broadband Opportunity Program.

With these awards, Governor DeSantis has awarded a total of more than $166 million across 47 counties through the Broadband Opportunity Program to expand broadband Internet, impacting a total of more than 193,000 homes and businesses across the state.

“Governor DeSantis is unwavering in his commitment to keeping the state’s economy strong and developing its workforce,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey. “Through programs like the Broadband Opportunity Program, Florida is helping unserved local communities expand broadband Internet access, making it easier for their residents and business community to connect, collaborate and learn.”

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the Broadband Opportunity Program funds the installation and deployment of broadband internet infrastructure in unserved Florida communities, providing valuable access to telehealth, economic, educational, and workforce development opportunities to offer a brighter future for all Floridians.

The following projects will be awarded through the Broadband Opportunity Program:

City of Live Oak ($5,000,000) — to add 821 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 21,492 unserved locations within Suwannee County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1 gigabits per second (GB).

City of Madison and Town of Lee ($5,000,000) — to add 759 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 1,835 unserved locations within Madison County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

Cities of Monticello and Perry; Unincorporated Lamont and Wacissa ($5,000,000) — to add 946 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 2,528 unserved locations within Jefferson, Madison and Taylor counties with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

Unincorporated Allentown and Wallace; Chumukla and Pace ($3,353,384) — to add 357 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 2,355 unserved locations within Santa Rosa County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

City of Plant City; Unincorporated Balm, Keysville, Lithia and Wimauma ($906,000) — to add 122.8 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 1,792 unserved locations within Hillsborough County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

City of Laurel Hill, Unincorporated Deerland and Svea, and Unincorporated Okaloosa County ($853,000) — to add 103.5 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 831 unserved locations within Okaloosa County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

City of San Antonio, Land O Lakes and Shady Hills, and Unincorporated Pasco County ($2,003,815) — to add 171.1 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 1,545 unserved locations within Pasco County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

City of Dade City, Crystal Springs, Dade City North, Lacoochee, Richland, Zephyrhills North, Zephyrhills South, and Unincorporated Pasco County ($578,531) — to add 171.4 miles of fiber optic cable to their existing network to provide 911 unserved locations within Pasco County with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1GB.

For additional information about the Office of Broadband and its initiatives, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org/Broadband.