Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 2004
       By Senator Burgess
       20-01385-21                                           20212004__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to broadband Internet; amending s.
    3         364.0135, F.S.; requiring the Florida Office of
    4         Broadband’s strategic plan to include short-term and
    5         long-term goals for increasing the availability of and
    6         access to broadband Internet service in this state;
    7         providing requirements for the development of the
    8         plan; requiring the updated plan to be submitted to
    9         the Governor, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,
   10         and the Legislature by a specified date; requiring the
   11         plan to be updated biennially; requiring the office to
   12         provide technical and planning assistance related to
   13         broadband infrastructure to rural communities;
   14         providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Subsection (4) of section 364.0135, Florida
   19  Statutes, is amended to read:
   20         364.0135 Promotion of broadband adoption; Florida Office of
   21  Broadband.—
   22         (4) FLORIDA OFFICE OF BROADBAND.—The Florida Office of
   23  Broadband is created within the Division of Community
   24  Development in the department for the purpose of developing,
   25  marketing, and promoting broadband Internet services in the
   26  state. The office, in the performance of its duties, shall do
   27  all of the following:
   28         (a) Create a strategic plan that has short-term and long
   29  term goals and strategies for increasing and improving the
   30  availability of and access to use of broadband Internet service
   31  in this the state. In development of the plan, the department
   32  shall incorporate applicable federal broadband activities,
   33  including any efforts or initiatives of the Federal
   34  Communications Commission, to improve broadband Internet service
   35  in this state. The plan must include a process to review and
   36  verify public input regarding transmission speeds and
   37  availability of broadband Internet service throughout the state.
   38  The plan must also identify available federal funding sources
   39  for the expansion or improvement of broadband. The strategic
   40  plan must be submitted to the Governor, the Chief Justice of the
   41  Supreme Court, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
   42  the House of Representatives by June 30, 2022. The strategic
   43  plan must be updated biennially thereafter.
   44         (b) Build and facilitate local technology planning teams or
   45  partnerships with members representing cross-sections of the
   46  community, which may include, but are not limited to,
   47  representatives from the following organizations and industries:
   48  libraries, K-12 education, colleges and universities, local
   49  health care providers, private businesses, community
   50  organizations, economic development organizations, local
   51  governments, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture.
   52         (c)Provide technical and planning assistance related to
   53  broadband infrastructure to rural communities.
   54         (d)(c) Encourage the use of broadband Internet service,
   55  especially in the rural, unserved, or underserved communities of
   56  the state through grant programs having effective strategies to
   57  facilitate the statewide deployment of broadband Internet
   58  service. For any grants to be awarded, priority must be given to
   59  projects that:
   60         1. Provide access to broadband education, awareness,
   61  training, access, equipment, and support to libraries, schools,
   62  colleges and universities, health care providers, and community
   63  support organizations.
   64         2. Encourage the sustainable adoption of broadband in
   65  primarily underserved areas by removing barriers to entry.
   66         3. Work toward encouraging investments in establishing
   67  affordable and sustainable broadband Internet service in
   68  underserved areas of the state.
   69         4. Facilitate the development of applications, programs,
   70  and services, including, but not limited to, telework,
   71  telemedicine, and e-learning to increase the usage of, and
   72  demand for, broadband Internet service in the state.
   73         (e)(d) Monitor, participate in, and provide input in
   74  proceedings of the Federal Communications Commission and other
   75  federal agencies related to the geographic availability and
   76  deployment of broadband Internet service in the state as
   77  necessary to ensure that this information is accurately
   78  presented and that rural, unserved, and underserved areas of the
   79  state are best positioned to benefit from federal and state
   80  broadband deployment programs.
   81         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.