About Us

The Office of Broadband works with local and state government agencies, community organizations and private businesses to increase the availability and effectiveness of broadband internet throughout the state, specifically in small and rural communities. It was established within the Division of Community Development on July 1, 2020. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is the lead agency to facilitate the expansion of broadband internet services in the state.

Responsibilities

Under section 364.1035, Florida Statutes, the Office of Broadband is responsible for:

  • Developing, marketing and promoting broadband internet services in the state;
  • Creating a strategic plan to increase the use of broadband internet services in the state;
  • Reviewing and verifying public input regarding transmission speeds and availability of broadband internet services throughout the state;
  • Building and facilitating local technology planning teams, especially with community members from the areas of education, healthcare, business, tourism, agriculture, economic development and local government; and
  • Participating in the Federal Communications Commission proceedings that are related to the geographic availability and deployment of broadband internet in Florida.

Funding Opportunities

The Office of Broadband will work with state, federal, individual, foundation and private partners to encourage investment in grant funding opportunities for the broadband program that focus on the expansion of broadband, especially in rural, unserved or underserved communities. These prioritized projects should include one or more of the following:

  1. Access to broadband education, awareness, training, access and equipment.
  2. Support for libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers and community support organizations.
  3. Sustainable adoption of broadband in primarily unserved areas by removing barriers to entry.
  4. Investments in establishing affordable and sustainable broadband internet service in unserved areas of the state.
  5. Development of applications, programs and services.These should include, but not be limited to telework, telemedicine and e-learning.

In state fiscal year 2022-2023, up to $5 million annually through the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, administered by the Department of Transportation, may be used for projects that assist in the development of broadband infrastructure within or adjacent to a multiuse corridor. Priority will be given to Rural Areas of Opportunity as designated under section 288.0656, Florida Statutes.

Other Broadband Resources

For More Information

For additional information regarding the Office of Broadband, please contact Katie Smith, Director, Office of Community Partnerships, at 850-717-8445 or by email at Katie.Smith@deo.myflorida.com.

An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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