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Rural communities across Florida get more funds for broadband access

Rural communities across Florida will receive an additional $60 million to expand their broadband internet access.

Hardee County will get the largest chunk of the funds announced by Gov. DeSantis, at more than $7 million.

Rural communities across Florida will receive an additional $60 million to expand their broadband internet access.

In a news release Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced 19 Florida counties will receive the funding, which will impact nearly 58,000 unserved residences and businesses.

“This $60 million in awards brings our total investment in broadband to more than $226 million to expand broadband Internet access in Florida’s under connected communities,” DeSantis said in the release. With this investment, we are connecting more than 250,000 unserved homes and businesses and expanding opportunities in rural communities.”

Hardee County will receive the largest chunk, at $7,098,642. Arcadia, in DeSoto County, receive $4.9 million.

“Small and rural communities across the state will be 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,” Meredith Ivey, acting secretary for the Department of Economic Opportunity, said in the release.

The breakdown by county:

  • Hardee: $7,098,642
  • Dixie/Levy: $5,025,000
  • Highlands/Okeechobee: $5 million
  • Bradford: $5 million
  • Gilchrist: $4,948,800
  • Hendry: $4,916,800
  • DeSoto: $4.497,588
  • Polk: $4,121,241
  • Lake: $3,808,018
  • Marion: $3,471,871
  • Escambia/Santa Rosa: $2,615,434
  • Washington: $2,493,000
  • Manatee: $1,550,553
  • Citrus: $1,245,500
  • Sumter: $604,000
  • Okaloosa: $207,087

The funds will help the unserved areas install high-speed fiber-optic cable and improve their internet infrastructure.
To date, 53 counties across the state have received the more than $226 million in funds.

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