Polk and Hernando among the rural Florida counties receiving funds to expand broadband access
Polk and Hernando are among 41 counties that will receive a share of $144 million.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday more than $144 million in funds will be distributed to rural counties across the state to expand their access to broadband internet — including Polk and Hernando counties.
In a news release, DeSantis announced the first set of funds through the Broadband Opportunity Grant Program will be awarded for 58 projects in 41 Florida counties.
“Broadband internet access creates jobs and enhances educational opportunities for Floridians," DeSantis said. "I look forward to continued investments through this program to ensure Florida families have access to important resources no matter where they live.”
Florida’s Office of Broadband received nearly $250 million in November from the federal government as part of a broadband-infrastructure program.
The current state budget also includes $400 million in the transportation work program to expand access to broadband, particularly in rural communities.
DeSantis’ proposed budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year includes $100 million to expand high-speed internet access.
Polk County is set to receive more than $4.7 million for locations in and around four cities, including Lakeland and Winter Haven.
Hernando County will also receive around $4.7 million for service in seven towns and unincorporated parts of the county.
Information from News Service of Florida was used in this report.