CONNECT THE FUTURE
FLORIDA

OUR AGENDA: ACCELERATING CONNECTIVITY FOR MORE FLORIDIANS

Access to reliable, high-speed internet service is more important than ever. Florida is Top 5 nationwide in broadband availability, as 97% of its population have broadband access, yet more than 804,000 Floridians still remain without access to a wired broadband connection.

Even with more than 220 internet providers offering broadband service in the state, Florida’s digital divide is real, and its socio-economic consequences for the 20% of Florida’s rural population without broadband access is significant. Our mission is plain and simple: we seek to shape public policy to create an environment that encourages investment in expanding broadband deployment throughout Florida.

TARGETED BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING NEEDED TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL BROADBAND ACCESS IN FLORIDA

The benefits of high-speed internet are undeniable. Yet, numerous barriers exist today that slow or prevent broadband deployment, especially in rural areas. We’re calling on lawmakers to take immediate action during the upcoming 2022 state legislative session to maximize taxpayer investment, ensure Florida’s continued competitiveness, advance innovation, and attract greater infrastructure investment needed to fully close the digital divide.

To achieve high-speed broadband availability for all Floridians, elected leaders must advance key reforms aimed at speeding access to and upgrading electric utility pole infrastructure throughout all Florida communities, regardless of whether poles are owned by investor-owned utilities, municipal electric companies, or rural electric cooperatives. Legislative leaders and the Governor took initial steps this past Spring to address these challenges, but now they must continue the fight to spur more investment in broadband infrastructure in unserved areas to speed delivery of high-speed internet service to more families.

OUR COALITION SUPPORTERS

FLORIDA INTERNET ACCESS MATTERS

FCC data reveals that more than 804,000 Floridians lack access to wireline broadband. However, BroadbandNow estimates this figure to be closer to 2.4 million Floridians.

Despite reaching a 97% connectivity rate, Florida remains the state with the 2nd highest population of residents without access to high-speed broadband.

FCC data shows that only 12 of Florida’s 67 counties are currently equipped with the infrastructure necessary to provide nearly all residents with internet connectivity.

According to the FCC, 15 counties today have less than 75% broadband availability, and six of those have less than 50% availability.

COVID-19 taught us all that access to high-speed internet is more important than ever

Florida’s State Legislature took a great step toward closing the rural digital divide with the passage of HB 1239, the Broadband Deployment Act of 2021, that enhanced broadband buildout opportunities by promoting more equitable cost sharing for municipal utility pole infrastructure replacement. Now we encourage the Governor and the Legislature to take the next step toward closing the broadband gap by utilizing federal infrastructure funding to further accelerate deployment.

NEWS AND UPDATES

Resources

ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS LAW AND POLICY INSTITUTE, STATE BROADBAND PROFILES • FLORIDA

RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS IN FLORIDA

THE ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
INVESTMENT IN FLORIDA

JOIN CONNECT THE FUTURE FLORIDA

Do you want to connect more Floridians to the future? Do you want to strengthen our economy, expand opportunity, and usher in a better future for our state and our country?

If so, we want you to stand with us.