Fla.’s State Broadband Officer will use $5M from HUD to connect some of the 11% who can’t access the internet, including the 3% who have no connection options.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a new guidebook for states and organizations to consider when deploying high-speed internet service projects. The guide was created to help multifamily housing owners and operations, public housing authorities and tribes understand the mechanics of the programs.
“We are committed to making sure every home has access to high-speed internet, through initiatives like HUD’s ConnectHome and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program,” says HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.
In Florida, the program falls under State Broadband Officer Katie Smith. According to HUD’s analysis, 3% of the state’s population has no options for broadband internet connection and 11% have no access for other reasons, many times due to affordability.
Floridians and the internet
- Residents with high-speed internet available: 97%
- Percentage where high-speed internet is unavailable: 3%
- Percentage without access to a device (including slow-speed connections): 7%
- Percentage not using the internet: 11%
- Percentage with no internet access or a device: 11%
To address the need to connect everyone in America to affordable and reliable high-speed internet service, Congress created funding for high-speed internet service through the $65 billion Internet for All initiative and called the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. Of that money, Florida will receive $4,999,976.99.
Nationwide, BEAD will provide $42.45 billion to help connect unserved and underserved locations, while Digital Equity programs will provide another $2.75 billion to help communities provide devices, digital skills training and other activities to help underserved communities.
All 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have received planning funding under both of these programs. State Broadband Offices (SBO) are currently developing action plans and will be submitting them in the coming months.
© 2023 Florida Realtors®