The office of the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has now made a major new announcement concerning funds for rural broadband throughout the state.
Nearly $223 million was allocated by Governor Ron DeSantis to expand broadband internet access to all Floridians, including small and rural communities.
The allocated funds consist of $86 million in federal funds via the Multipurpose Community Facilities Program and $135 million in state funding through the Broadband Opportunity Program.
The Broadband Opportunity Program will provide funding for the expansion of broadband internet to more than 27,000 unserved residential, educational, agricultural, business, and community locations through the support of 54 initiatives in 33 counties of Florida.
A total of 29 community infrastructure initiatives, including schools, health clinics, and workforce development programs that provide internet access to Floridians in 18 counties, will be supported by awards from the Multipurpose Facility Program.
This funding is in response to the recent regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission concerning the expansion of broadband services by private corporations.
The Biden administration effectively incentivizes private companies to refrain from offering services such as broadband internet to rural communities due to non-compliance with specific diversity quotas, via regulations of this nature.
These discriminatory conditions affixed to federal funding, which deter investment from already underserved small and rural communities, will not be enforced in Florida.
The grants presented today are an extension of the over $226 million granted by Governor DeSantis earlier this week for initiatives in 53 counties of Florida that will connect over 250,000 homes and businesses via the Broadband Opportunity Program.
Furthermore, over 247 thousand dollars were allocated by Governor DeSantis via the Broadband Infrastructure Program in order to provide high-speed internet to over 59,000 unserved and underserved households, businesses, farms, and anchor institutions such as libraries and hospitals.