Florida Senate - 2021                             CS for SB 2004
       By the Committee on Commerce and Tourism; and Senator Burgess
       577-02868-21                                          20212004c1
    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 appropriation; providing an effective
   15         date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Subsection (4) of section 364.0135, Florida
   20  Statutes, is amended to read:
   21         364.0135 Promotion of broadband adoption; Florida Office of
   22  Broadband.—
   23         (4) FLORIDA OFFICE OF BROADBAND.—The Florida Office of
   24  Broadband is created within the Division of Community
   25  Development in the department for the purpose of developing,
   26  marketing, and promoting broadband Internet services in the
   27  state. The office, in the performance of its duties, shall do
   28  all of the following:
   29         (a) Create a strategic plan that has short-term and long
   30  term goals and strategies for increasing and improving the
   31  availability of and access to use of broadband Internet service
   32  in this the state. In development of the plan, the department
   33  shall incorporate applicable federal broadband activities,
   34  including any efforts or initiatives of the Federal
   35  Communications Commission, to improve broadband Internet service
   36  in this state. The plan must include a process to review and
   37  verify public input regarding transmission speeds and
   38  availability of broadband Internet service throughout the state.
   39  The plan must also identify available federal funding sources
   40  for the expansion or improvement of broadband. The strategic
   41  plan must be submitted to the Governor, the Chief Justice of the
   42  Supreme Court, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
   43  the House of Representatives by June 30, 2022. The strategic
   44  plan must be updated biennially thereafter.
   45         (b) Build and facilitate local technology planning teams or
   46  partnerships with members representing cross-sections of the
   47  community, which may include, but are not limited to,
   48  representatives from the following organizations and industries:
   49  libraries, K-12 education, colleges and universities, local
   50  health care providers, private businesses, community
   51  organizations, economic development organizations, local
   52  governments, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture.
   53         (c)Provide technical and planning assistance related to
   54  broadband infrastructure to rural communities.
   55         (d)(c) Encourage the use of broadband Internet service,
   56  especially in the rural, unserved, or underserved communities of
   57  the state through grant programs having effective strategies to
   58  facilitate the statewide deployment of broadband Internet
   59  service. For any grants to be awarded, priority must be given to
   60  projects that:
   61         1. Provide access to broadband education, awareness,
   62  training, access, equipment, and support to libraries, schools,
   63  colleges and universities, health care providers, and community
   64  support organizations.
   65         2. Encourage the sustainable adoption of broadband in
   66  primarily underserved areas by removing barriers to entry.
   67         3. Work toward encouraging investments in establishing
   68  affordable and sustainable broadband Internet service in
   69  underserved areas of the state.
   70         4. Facilitate the development of applications, programs,
   71  and services, including, but not limited to, telework,
   72  telemedicine, and e-learning to increase the usage of, and
   73  demand for, broadband Internet service in the state.
   74         (e)(d) Monitor, participate in, and provide input in
   75  proceedings of the Federal Communications Commission and other
   76  federal agencies related to the geographic availability and
   77  deployment of broadband Internet service in the state as
   78  necessary to ensure that this information is accurately
   79  presented and that rural, unserved, and underserved areas of the
   80  state are best positioned to benefit from federal and state
   81  broadband deployment programs.
   82         Section 2. For the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the sum of $1.4
   83  million in nonrecurring funds is appropriated from the State
   84  Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund to the
   85  Department of Economic Opportunity for the purpose of
   86  commissioning a broadband feasibility study and developing a
   87  strategic plan as required in s. 364.0135, Florida Statutes.
   88         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.