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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

$1.4 million awarded to Ocala for broadband internet expansion

The City of Ocala has been awarded over $1.4 million through the Broadband Opportunity Grant Program to expand access to broadband internet in Marion County.

Earlier today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the first set of awards through the Broadband Opportunity Grant Program for underserved communities in Florida. In total, over $144 million was awarded for 58 projects in 41 counties, which will impact nearly 160,000 unserved residential, educational, business, and community locations.

The City of Ocala will utilize its funds from the grant program ($1,423,488) to add 53 miles of fiber optic cable to the existing network. This will provide FTTH (Fiber to the Home) services to 1,022 unserved locations in Marion County with minimum symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 MBPS.

The Broadband Opportunity Grant Program, which is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, funds the installation and deployment of broadband internet infrastructure in unserved Florida communities, which helps provide those residents with valuable access to telehealth, economic, educational, and workforce development opportunities.

“Broadband internet access creates jobs and enhances educational opportunities for Floridians. I look forward to continued investments through this program to ensure Florida families have access to important resources no matter where they live,” stated Governor DeSantis.

“Broadband internet service is essential for workforce development, education, and healthcare. Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has taken monumental steps to bring reliable, high-speed internet to all Floridians,” stated Department of Economic Opportunity Deputy Secretary Ben Melnick. “There is no doubt that the projects awarded today will shape the future of broadband in Florida.”

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband webpage.