In May, Governor Ron DeSantis earmarked $60 million for the Broadband Opportunity Program to provide Florida’s most underserved or unserved communities access to broadband internet. This monetary award, paired with previously issued funding, totals more than $226 million dedicated to connecting over 250,000 homes and businesses to broadband internet across the state. This will go towards installing the necessary infrastructure
“Floridians won’t need to leave their hometowns to access education, healthcare, and business resources due to a lack of broadband internet access. Small and rural communities across the state will be able able to connect to fast, reliable broadband internet at their home or business and can take advantage of the opportunities that accompany broadband internet connectivity,” said Meredith Ivey, Acting Secretary for the Department of Economic Opportunity.
Several companies will receive portions of this grant to install their infrastructure and deploy broadband services to Floridian towns, most of which are rural communities with limited access. Sources report Charter Communications will receive $14.4 million to complete eight projects, Conexon Connect will receive $7.6 million for two projects, and Comcast will receive $5.4 million for three projects.
Additionally, Cox and Central Florida Electric Cooperative will get $5 million to complete one project. Rapid Systems will also get $5 million, Roamr will receive $4.9 million, and LiveOak Fiber is slated to get $207.087.
IQ Fiber, a local provider propped up by private equity funding, has received $150 million from SDS Capital Partners to expand its network. It boasts to be “the first locally based residential fiber-optic company to enter the Gainsville market.”
Altogether, there will be 22 new projects supported across 19 Florida counties to expand broadband internet. The multi-projects strive to connect around 58,000 households, businesses, schools, and other currently disconnected locations. Check out a full list of the Broadband Opportunity Program’s projects here.