Live Oak to receive broadband funds

Broadband fiber optic internet

In the second round of the Broadband Opportunity Program awards, Live Oak will receive $5 million to expand its internet access.

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $22 million in awards were going to eight projects in underserved communities that will impact more than 33,200 residential, business and community locations.

With the $5 million award, Live Oak will add 821 miles of fiber optic cable to its existing network, which will provide 21,492 unserved locations with symmetrical upload and download speeds of 1 gigabytes per second within Suwannee County.

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The first round of awards was announced in February when multiple communities split $144 million, including more than $50 million to towns in North Central Florida.

“Investing in reliable internet infrastructure strengthens local economies and opens up new opportunities for students, businesses and families,” said DeSantis in the press release. “I am happy to award this $22 million to support Florida’s small and rural communities and I look forward to making more awards in the future that expand internet access to all Floridians.” 

Since February, DeSantis has awarded more than $166 million to expand broadband internet impacting more than 193,000 homes and businesses across 47 counties.

“Governor DeSantis is unwavering in his commitment to keeping the state’s economy strong and developing its workforce,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey in the press release. “Through programs like the Broadband Opportunity Program, Florida is helping unserved local communities expand broadband Internet access, making it easier for their residents and business community to connect, collaborate and learn.”

According to the release, the Broadband Opportunity Program, Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), “funds the installation and deployment of broadband internet infrastructure in unserved Florida communities, providing valuable access to telehealth, economic, educational, and workforce development opportunities to offer a brighter future for all Floridians.”

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