About the Broadband Opportunity Program

The Broadband Opportunity Program is a competitive reimbursement grant program within the Florida Department of Commerce Office of Broadband (Office), created to expand broadband Internet service to unserved areas of this state, which will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of local economies. The Program was created and is governed by section 288.9962, F.S.; and the Florida Legislature appropriated $400 million in federally funded State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to increase access to reliable, affordable, and high-speed internet service within the state. Additional guidance may be found in Chapter 73C-50, Florida Administrative Code (proposed), Amendments to Coronavirus SLFRF Requirements 87 Federal Regulation 4338, and Coronavirus SLFRF Requirements Title 31 CFR Part 35.

Broadband Opportunity Program Annual Report

Per section 288.9962(10), F.S., “the Office shall publish on its website and provide to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House:

(a) A list of all grant applications received during the previous fiscal year and for each application:

1. The results of any quantitative weighting or scoring system the office used to award grants or rank the applications.
2. The grant amounts requested.
3. The grant amounts awarded, if any.
4. A report on the progress of each grant recipient in acquiring and installing infrastructure that supports the provision of broadband Internet service in the project areas for which that grant was awarded and in securing adoption of such service in each project area.

(b) All written challenges filed during the previous year and the results of those challenges."

Annual Report 2023

The Broadband Opportunity Program Annual Report 2023 was submitted on December 30, 2023.  

Annual Report 2022

The Broadband Opportunity Program Annual Report 2022 was submitted on December 30, 2022.  

Application Window

Per section 288.9962(6)(a), F.S., “at least 30 days before the first day grant applications may be submitted each fiscal year, the office shall publish on its website the specific criteria and quantitative scoring system it will use to evaluate or rank grant applications.” The Broadband Opportunity Program's Grant Application and Scoring and Evaluation Criteria is available below. 

The second application window for the grant program opened on May 10, 2023, and will close on July 21, 2023, at 5 p.m., Eastern Time. A list of applicants will be posted to the Office of Broadband website within three business days of the application window closing. The challenge window opens on July 26, 2023, and will close on September 16, 2023.

Helpful Links:

Challenge Process

Section 288.9962(6), F.S. and Chapter 73C-50.005, F.A.C. outline the Broadband Opportunity Program application challenge process. The purpose of the challenge process is to improve accountability in deployment of public funds by preventing funds from being allocated to areas where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are already offering service or plan to provide such service within the timeframe of the contested application(s). The Broadband Opportunity Program Challenge Process Guide can be used to assist with the challenge process. 

Technical Assistance Webinars

The Office of Broadband hosted a Statewide Technical Assistance Webinar on May 24, 2023. This webinar provided information regarding the Broadband Opportunity Program's timeline, application, funding, and eligibility, and addressed questions at the end of the presentation. 

Rulemaking Workshops

The Florida Legislature granted the Office of Broadband rule making authority for the Broadband Opportunity Program. The Rule provides detail on the Broadband Opportunity Program, and can be found in the Florida Administrative Register.

Three regional Rulemaking workshops were held and provided an opportunity for Public Comments and questions to be received by FloridaCommerce. The Rulemaking workshops were held in Polk County on August 22, 2022; Santa Rosa County on August 25, 2022; and Glades County on August 29, 2022.  

Eligible Applicants, Activities and Technical Assistance

Broadband Opportunity Program awards are available to corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, and limited partnerships that are organized under the laws of this state or otherwise authorized to transact business in this state, political subdivisions, and Indian Tribes. 

Grant funds may not be used to install or deploy broadband Internet service to a geographic area in which broadband Internet service is already deployed by at least one service provider.                

Eligible activities for Broadband Opportunity Program Funding include installation or deployment of infrastructure that supports the provision of reliable, affordable high-speed broadband internet service in unserved areas of the state (section 288.9962, F.S.). 

Any costs reimbursed with Broadband Opportunity Program funds must be reasonable and allocable, as described in 2 C.F.R Part 200.404 and Part 200.405, respectively. Pre-Award costs, as defined in 2 C.F.R. Part 200.458, shall not be paid with these funds.

All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and be expended by FloridaCommerce by December 31, 2026.

FloridaCommerce staff are available to provide support throughout the application process. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend all scheduled webinars and trainings provided by FloridaCommerce. Applicants can find current information about the Broadband Opportunity Program www.FloridaJobs.org/Broadband. Questions regarding the program should be sent to Broadband@commerce.fl.gov.      

Contact the Office of Broadband

The Office of Broadband is eager to assist you with any questions regarding the Broadband Opportunity Grant Program. Please contact us with any Broadband Opportunity Grant Program questions or concerns you may have.

107 E. Madison Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Email: Broadband@commerce.fl.gov

An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.
You have selected a link to a website that is outside of the floridajobs.org domain. Control of the content of this website belongs to the website's owner and not to Florida Commerce.