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Bill Summary Details

Broadband Internet Deployment (Support)

CS/HB 753 (Clemons) creates the Florida Broadband Opportunity Program within the Office of Broadband within the Department of Economic Opportunity to award grants to applicants who seek to expand broadband internet service to unserved areas of the state. The bill reallocates 50% of the revenues currently allocated to the M-CORES (Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance) program to the Office for purposes of administering the grant program. The bill authorizes certain entities, such as political subdivisions, to apply for grants that are to be used for the installation and deployment of infrastructure that supports broadband internet service. The bill only allows the Office to award grants to governmental entities if no broadband internet service providers are deployed in that area. The bill provides application requirements, the criteria for evaluating applications and that the grant award combined with other government funding may not fund more than 50% of the project's total costs. Additionally, the bill authorizes existing broadband Internet providers to challenge grant applications if service is already provided or is planned in the area at issue. (Hughes)