Gov. DeSantis signs bill to transfer broadband policy to DEO, bolster internet service to rural areas
Ron DeSantis should get his pen ready; there's a stack of bills on his desk.

DeSantis bill signing
K-12 students are already suffering.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday that would transfer the responsibility of broadband policy implementation from the Department of Management Services to the Department of Economic Opportunity and encourage the use of broadband internet service in rural underserved areas in Florida.

“A great concern with lack of broadband in certain rural areas of our state is the impact on first responders and their ability to quickly and accurately reach Floridians in need. Our goal is for every Floridian to have access to fixed broadband, which is critical to business, education, and most importantly, public safety,” said Senate President Bill Galvano.

The measure, HB 969, also called for the creation of the Florida Office of Broadband within the DEO’s Division of Community Development. The duties of the office will include the development, marketing and promotion of broadband

Additionally, the measure authorizes the Florida Department of Transportation to spend up to $5 million from the State Transportation Trust Fund allocation to the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance Program to further the development of broadband infrastructure within a multi-use corridor.

“The impacts of the coronavirus further highlight the need for the wide-ranging infrastructure improvements, including fixed broadband, that are contemplated in the MCORES Program.  Those counties that are the most underserved by fixed broadband have likely already felt the effects of a tremendous disadvantage for K-12 and higher education students, employees transitioning to a remote work environment, and businesses trying to adapt their work models to engage in e-commerce opportunities,” Galvano added. “The MCORES corridor study areas include many counties with relatively low populations and per capita income that are underserved by fixed broadband access. As broadband expands into these rural legacy communities, we can not only improve the safety of residents and visitors, but also remove existing barriers to commerce and education opportunities.”

The measure was sponsored by Republican Rep. Brad Drake of Holmes County and Democratic Rep. Lorrane Ausley of Tallahassee.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


6 comments

  • Palmer Tom

    June 9, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    It would have been a more complete report if he had included 1000 Friends of Florida’s analysis of the rural broadband issue and why it is not intrinsically dependent on the toll road projects.

    • Just sayin'

      June 10, 2020 at 8:36 am

      It’s a carrot thrown to local governments to buy into this ridiculous road scheme.

  • Willy Budney

    June 10, 2020 at 1:30 am

    It’s DeSantis… what is really expected of him? Fathering another child? He seems to do that again & again & again, no?

    • Just sayin'

      June 10, 2020 at 8:36 am

      Classy, Willy.

  • Florida Voice for the Unborn

    June 10, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Florida Voice for the Unborn remains hopeful that pro-life Governor DeSantis will veto Senate Bill 698, which is sponsored by pro-abortion state Senator Lauren Book. The bill was presented to him last Wednesday, June 3rd. At Florida Voice for the Unborn’s direction, pro-life grassroots activists throughout Florida have been contacting the governor, respectfully requesting that he veto Senate Bill 698 because it violates the dignity of embryonic human life by defining a “zygote” as mere “reproductive material” and treating embryos as “things” that are in the possession of others rather than as unique human beings. Governor DeSantis, please act swiftly to veto Senate Bill 698!

    Florida Voice for the Unborn is a new grassroots Tallahassee-based lobbying group that only focuses on pro-life issues impacting the unborn. It is strictly independent, and its work is guided by faith in God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Florida Voice for the Unborn supports all peaceful efforts by elected officials and others to end abortion and save lives. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest @UnbornVoiceFL – and visit our website.

  • Anonymous

    June 11, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    The DEO has been wildly inept at handling their current task with regard to Florida Unemployment. The governor’s response is to put even more on their plate. Simply… Brilliant…

Comments are closed.


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