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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXVII
RAILROADS AND OTHER REGULATED UTILITIES
Chapter 364
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES
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F.S. 364.0135
1364.0135 Promotion of broadband adoption.
(1) The Legislature finds that the sustainable adoption of broadband Internet service is critical to the economic and business development of the state and is beneficial for libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, and community organizations. The term “sustainable adoption” means the ability for communications service providers to offer broadband services in all areas of the state by encouraging adoption and utilization levels that allow for these services to be offered in the free market absent the need for governmental subsidy.
(2) The Department of Management Services is authorized to work collaboratively with, and to receive staffing support and other resources from, Enterprise Florida, Inc., state agencies, local governments, private businesses, and community organizations to:
(a) Monitor the adoption of broadband Internet service in collaboration with communications service providers, including, but not limited to, wireless and wireline Internet service providers, to develop geographical information system maps at the census tract level that will:
1. Identify geographic gaps in broadband services, including areas unserved by any broadband provider and areas served by a single broadband provider;
2. Identify the download and upload transmission speeds made available to businesses and individuals in the state, at the census tract level of detail, using data rate benchmarks for broadband service used by the Federal Communications Commission to reflect different speed tiers; and
3. Provide a baseline assessment of statewide broadband deployment in terms of percentage of households with broadband availability.
(b) Create a strategic plan that has goals and strategies for increasing the use of broadband Internet service in the state.
(c) Build and facilitate local technology planning teams or partnerships with members representing cross-sections of the community, which may include, but are not limited to, representatives from the following organizations and industries: libraries, K-12 education, colleges and universities, local health care providers, private businesses, community organizations, economic development organizations, local governments, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture.
(d) Encourage the use of broadband Internet service, especially in the rural, unserved, and underserved communities of the state through grant programs having effective strategies to facilitate the statewide deployment of broadband Internet service. For any grants to be awarded, priority must be given to projects that:
1. Provide access to broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support to libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, and community support organizations.
2. Encourage the sustainable adoption of broadband in primarily unserved areas by removing barriers to entry.
3. Work toward encouraging investments in establishing affordable and sustainable broadband Internet service in unserved areas of the state.
4. Facilitate the development of applications, programs, and services, including, but not limited to, telework, telemedicine, and e-learning to increase the usage of, and demand for, broadband Internet service in the state.
(3) The department may apply for and accept federal funds for purposes of this section, as well as gifts and donations from individuals, foundations, and private organizations.
(4) The department may enter into contracts necessary or useful to carry out the purposes of this section.
(5) The department may establish any committee or workgroup to administer and carry out the purposes of this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2009-226; s. 5, ch. 2011-36; s. 53, ch. 2012-116; s. 1, ch. 2012-131.
1Note.

A. Section 3, ch. 2012-131, provides that:

“(1) The Department of Management Services, in consultation with the Department of Economic Opportunity, shall develop and submit to the United States Department of Commerce a request to transfer the federal broadband grant from the Department of Management Services to the Department of Economic Opportunity. Upon receipt from the United States Department of Commerce of its approval or denial of the request for a transfer of the broadband grant, the Department of Management Services shall, in writing, immediately notify the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of that decision.

“(2) If the request for a transfer of the federal broadband grant is approved pursuant to subsection (1), the Department of Management Services shall submit a budget amendment for approval by the Legislative Budget Commission pursuant to s. 216.292(4)(d), Florida Statutes, to transfer from the department to the Department of Economic Opportunity the funds necessary to implement this act.

“(3) This section shall take effect upon this act becoming a law.”

B. Section 4, ch. 2012-131, provides that “[e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided in this act and except for this section, which shall take effect upon this act becoming a law, this act shall take effect upon approval of the budget amendment required under section 3.”

C. If ss. 3 and 4, ch. 2012-131, take effect, s. 364.0135, as amended by s. 53, ch. 2012-116, and s. 1, ch. 2012-131, will read:

364.0135 Promotion of broadband adoption.

(1) The Legislature finds that the sustainable adoption of broadband Internet service is critical to the economic, business, and community development of the state and is beneficial for libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, and community organizations. The term “sustainable adoption” means the ability for communications service providers to offer broadband services in all areas of the state by encouraging adoption and utilization levels that allow for these services to be offered in the free market absent the need for governmental subsidy.

(2) The Department of Economic Opportunity shall be the state’s single designated entity to receive and manage all federal Department of Commerce State Broadband Initiative funds and shall establish a public-private partnership that will work collaboratively with, and receive staffing support and other resources from, Enterprise Florida, Inc., state agencies, local governments, private businesses, nonprofit corporations, and community organizations to:

(a) Monitor the adoption of broadband Internet service in collaboration with communications service providers, including, but not limited to, wireless and wireline Internet service providers, to develop geographical information system maps that will, at a minimum:

1. Identify geographic gaps in broadband services, including areas unserved by any broadband provider and areas served by a single broadband provider at the census block level of detail;

2. Identify the download and upload transmission speeds made available to businesses and individuals in the state, at the census block level of detail, using data rate benchmarks for broadband service used by the Federal Communications Commission to reflect different speed tiers; and

3. Provide a baseline assessment of statewide broadband deployment in terms of percentage of households with broadband availability.

(b) Create a strategic plan, developed with the use of consumer research into residential and business technology utilization data, which has goals and strategies for increasing the use of broadband Internet service in the state.

(c) Build and facilitate local technology planning teams or partnerships with members representing cross-sections of the community, which may include, but are not limited to, representatives from the following organizations and industries: libraries, K-12 education, colleges and universities, local health care providers, private businesses, community organizations, economic development organizations, local governments, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture.

(d) Encourage the use of broadband Internet service, especially in the rural, unserved, and underserved communities of the state through grant programs having effective strategies to facilitate the statewide deployment of broadband Internet service. For any grants awarded, priority must be given to projects that:

1. Provide access to broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support to libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, and community support organizations.

2. Encourage the sustainable adoption of broadband in primarily unserved areas by removing barriers to entry.

3. Work toward encouraging investments in establishing affordable and sustainable broadband Internet service in unserved areas of the state.

4. Facilitate the development of applications, programs, and services, including, but not limited to, telework, telemedicine, and e-learning to increase the usage of, and demand for, broadband Internet service in the state.

(3) The department may apply for and accept federal funds for purposes of this section, as well as gifts and donations from individuals, foundations, and private organizations.

(4) The department may enter into contracts necessary or useful to carry out the purposes of this section.

(5) The department may establish any committee or workgroup to administer and carry out the purposes of this section.

D. Section 2, ch. 2012-131, provides that “[a]ll powers, duties, functions, records, offices, property, pending issues, existing contracts, administrative authority, administrative rules, and unexpended balance of appropriations, allocations, and other funds relating to the Broadband Initiative Program in the Department of Management Services are transferred by a type two transfer, as defined in s. 20.06(2), Florida Statutes, to the Department of Economic Opportunity.”