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. Through these partnerships, the Office of Broadband encourages investment in grant funding opportunities for the broadband program that focus on the expansion of broadband.
- Broadband Opportunity
- CPF Infrastructure
- CPF Multi-Purpose Facilities
- BEAD Program
- Digital Equity Planning
- Public Workshops
Florida Strategic Plan for Broadband
The Florida Broadband Strategic Plan lays out the vision of the Office of Broadband, the roles for state and local participants, and the strategies to undertake as Florida works towards a fully connected citizenry, both economically and socially.
Application Portal for Broadband Funding
The Application Portal for Broadband Funding will be used when applying for any funding program within the Office of Broadband. If you are already a member, please sign in to enter the application portal. If you are not yet a member, please click “not a member” and proceed with creating an account. Remember, when registering, your username must be your full email address. This email will be used to enter the application portal when applying for any broadband funding. .
Under sections 288.9961, 288.9962, and 288.9963, 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 or partnerships; and
- Participating in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceedings that are related to the geographic availability and deployment of broadband internet in Florida.
- Establishing the Broadband Opportunity Program and rulemaking for the program to award grants to applicants who seek to expand broadband to unserved areas (subject to appropriations).
- Developing a map of broadband internet service availability throughout the state.
Local Technology Planning Teams
Section 288.9961(4)(b), Florida Statutes, directs the Office of Broadband to build and facilitate local technology planning teams representing cross-sections of the community, which may include, but are not limited to, representatives from the following organizations and industries:
- Libraries; K-12 education; colleges and universities; local health care providers; private businesses; community organizations; economic development organizations; local governments; tourism; parks and recreation; and agriculture.
For more information, please visit the Local Technology Planning Teams webpage.
- In November 2022, the Office of Broadband received $247.8 million from the U.S. Treasury for the Capital Projects Fund Broadband Infrastructure Program. The Office was also awarded $2.4 million for their Digital Equity Planning Grant, as well as $5 million for the BEAD 5-year action plan.
- In November 2022, the final rule for the Broadband Opportunity Program became effective.
- In October 2022,the Office of Broadband filed the final rule package to JAPC and updated the Office website with information on the Broadband Opportunity Program, including program guidelines, frequently asked questions, and information on the technical assistance walk though webinars.
- In September 2022, DEO posted the final application and scoring and evaluation criteria for the Broadband Opportunity Program to the website. DEO also Published the Notice of Proposed Rule in the Florida Administrative Weekly.
- In August 2022, DEO hosted three regional workshops (Bartow in Polk County on August 22, Milton in Santa Rosa County on August 25, and Moore Haven in Glades County on August 29, 2022) to receive community input on rulemaking for the implementation of the $400 million Broadband Opportunity Program.
- In June 2022, DEO submitted the Florida Strategic Plan for Broadband to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate. The Florida Strategic Plan for Broadband lays out the vision of the Office of Broadband, the roles for state and local participants, and the strategies to undertake as Florida works toward a fully connected citizenry, both economically and socially.
- In June 2022, DEO published the Faster Florida Broadband Map, which identifies census blocks as unserved, underserved, served, and no fixed internet service as defined in Section 288.9961, Florida Statutes. The map also identifies Florida geographic boundaries, community anchor institutions, grant funding opportunities, and information on the speed tests taken through the Florida Broadband Availability Map.
- In December 2021, DEO published Florida’s Broadband Availability Map to identify where broadband-capable networks exist, where service is available to end users, gaps in rural areas, and download and upload speeds. DEO continues to collect data from Floridians on their availability and accessibility of broadband Internet to be added to the map through its Broadband Internet Speed Test.
- In September 2021, DEO launched the Local Technology Planning Team initiative using the Broadband Planning Toolkit developed by the Office of Broadband. Local Technology Planning Teams are tasked with working within their communities to understand their current broadband availability, locate unserved and underserved businesses and residents, identify assets relevant to broadband deployment, build partnerships with broadband service providers, and identify opportunities to leverage assets and reduce barriers to the deployment of broadband Internet services in the community.
- In February 2021, DEO partnered with the Florida Regional Councils Association to host 10 virtual workshops where participants discussed broadband internet accessibility. Industry sector and community leaders within each region were invited to participate. These industry sectors included education, healthcare, private business, community organizations, agriculture, tourism, parks and recreation, economic development, local governments, and internet service providers.
- During Florida’s 2021 Legislative session, House Bill 1239 passed and provided an allocation of $1.5 million to develop geographic information system (GIS) maps of Florida’s currently availability of broadband internet service.
- In July 2020, the Florida Office of Broadband was established within DEO’s Division of Community Development to increase the availability and effectiveness of broadband internet throughout the state. The amendment of Section 288.9961, Florida Statutes, and creation of Sections 288.9962 and 288.9963, Florida Statutes, provides DEO access to federal grant dollars and assists rural communities with the expansion of broadband services, as well as provides directives for broadband mapping and the Broadband Opportunity Program.
- Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – January 27, 2021
- Apalachee Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – January 28, 2021
- Emerald Coast Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 1, 2021
- Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 2, 2021
- Central Florida Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 3, 2021
- Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 4, 2021
- South Florida Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 9, 2021
- North Central Florida Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 10, 2021
- East Central Florida Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 11, 2021
- Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Virtual Workshop – February 12, 2021
- Education Toolkit
- Local Governments, Legislators, and Local Technology Planning Teams Toolkit
State and Federal Funding Opportunities
Entities interested in expanding broadband in their communities may apply for the following funding opportunities. The below opportunities are updated regularly.
Rural Infrastructure Fund
- Program Website: Rural Infrastructure Fund
- Program Overview: Facilitates the planning, preparing and financing of traditional economic development or nature-based tourism infrastructure projects that encourages job creation and capital investment in rural communities.
- Program Purpose Specific to Broadband: Eligible projects and uses of funds may include improving access to and the availability of broadband Internet service. Eligible uses of funds shall include improvements to broadband Internet service and access in unserved or underserved rural communities. Improvements to broadband Internet service and access must be conducted through a partnership(s) with one or more dealers registered with the Department of Revenue as a provider of communications services in Florida. Partnership(s) must be established through a competitive selection process that is publicly noticed.
- Eligible Entities: Eligible Applicants are units of local government within an area designated as a Rural Area of Opportunity or a rural county or community as defined by Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes.
- Funding Amount/Cycle: Rural Infrastructure Fund base funding ($7.1 million) provides funding in the amount of $2.5 million is available to rural communities statewide.
Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus Small Cities and Entitlement Programs (CDBG-CV)
- Program Website: CDBG-CV Webpage
- Program Overview: The CDBG-CV funds are federally-awarded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and designed to help local governments prepare for, prevent, or respond to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The activities must be critical to their locality and primarily for the benefit of low- and moderate-income residents. Local governments are encouraged to include activities that benefit workforce housing, training, and sustainability, as well as broadband infrastructure and planning.
- Program Purpose Specific to Broadband: Funds are designed to help local governments to prepare for, prevent, or respond to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Eligible activities include Broadband Planning and Public Infrastructure.
Each Activity Funded by CDBG Must Meet One of the Following National Objectives:
- Provide benefit to low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons;
- Prevent or eliminate slum or blight conditions; or
- Address urgent community development needs, which pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community for which other funding is not available.
- Eligible Entities: Eligible CDBG-CV Small Cities Communities include municipalities and counties that participate in the Small Cities CDBG program. Communities may submit one application requesting a minimum of $200,000 and a maximum of $5 million in grant funding for one program or project through the competitive application cycle. Eligible CDBG-CV Entitlement Communities include municipalities and counties that participate in the HUD entitlement program. Entitlement communities are encouraged to coordinate with local governments and subrecipient agencies within their jurisdiction and may apply for funding up to the amount allocated to the local government through a funding formula.
- Funding Amount/Cycle: $93 million is available. The deadline to apply for funding through the CDBG-CV Small Cities Program is November 1, 2021 at 5 p.m., Eastern Time.
For More Information
For additional information regarding the Office of Broadband, please contact our team by email at Broadband@deo.myflorida.com.
Other Broadband Resources
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband USA News
- NTIA Broadband Initiatives, Grants and Resources
- Federal Communications Commission Broadband and Internet Consumer Guides
- BroadbandUSA’s Speed Demonstration Tool – BroadbandUSA’s Speed Demonstration Tool is designed to help you make smart, strategic decisions regarding your data needs. The speed demonstration tool lists typical internet uses and the data required for those uses.
- Explanation of Broadband Deployment Data
- National Broadband Map.
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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