DeSantis announces $144M in federal funding to expand broadband access for Florida counties

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks in Milton on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MILTON, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at a press conference Thursday in Santa Rosa County that he is putting $144 million in federal money toward expanding broadband access in 41 counties around Florida.

According to DeSantis, the money will go to 58 different projects in rural parts of the state, although he didn’t specify exactly what counties will be receiving it.

“This will benefit many unserved homes and businesses all throughout the state of Florida. A lot of times they’ll be maybe in rural areas. Sometimes they’ll be in unincorporated areas and they just logistically, haven’t been able to benefit, so we’re going to be able to come in and help with that,” DeSantis said.

Santa Rosa County on Thursday accepted a check for $2.3 million, which the governor said would provide fiber internet access to 791 unserved locations in partnership with Charter Communications.

DeSantis also said at a news conference Wednesday that building opportunities for economic growth in Florida’s rural communities play an important role in creating lasting economic opportunities for all Floridians.

According to DeSantis, the 2023-24 budget allocates $1.1 billion to a “family-focused” tax relief proposal, which includes parents’ essentials such as diapers, baby wipes, cribs, strollers, toddler clothing, and children’s toys and books.

The proposal has a one-year tax exemption for household items such as paper towels, toilet paper, and trash bags that cost less than $25 and over-the-counter pet medications and pet food.

About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.