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Florida PSC Receives Rural Broadband Deployment Update

TALLAHASSEE — Reliable access to internet service has become essential for rural households receiving online health care or education services. Today the Public Service Commission (PSC) discussed how Florida’s broadband providers are moving quickly to connect households that need internet access for school, business, and other activities.

“Expanding broadband internet service to Floridians lacking access will generate economic gains for Florida and help us be first among the states uniquely positioned to close the digital divide.” said PSC Chairman Andrew Giles Fay. “Florida must continue to rely on a wide range of services to keep pace with the growing demand for fast and reliable internet access.”

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 14th Broadband Deployment Report (January 2021) estimated that there are 14.5 million Americans without access to broadband. Approximately 804,000—or 18 percent—of the FCC’s estimate live in Florida. 

The Commission also discussed ways to increase rural broadband services provided through private investments and alternatives to broadband such as satellite internet services. While there are many reasons why access to reliable high-speed internet is difficult, cost is the most common. 

The FCC is responsible for multiple broadband deployment and broadband grant programs and recently allocated about $192 million to Internet Service Providers to help close Florida’s broadband connectivity divide under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).   

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