Special to Lake Okeechobee News
Internet service providers in the Big Lake area have been awarded grants to improve internet access.
On Feb. 2, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the awarded projects totaling more than $144 million for 58 projects in 41 Florida counties. The funding is being provided through the Department of Economic Opportunity’s Broadband Opportunity Grant Program.
Unincorporated Okeechobee County received a total of $3,043,900 to deploy new fiber optic cable and internet services to 3,602 unserved households with the implementation beginning in the RBar Estates and Lazy 7 areas with download and upload speeds of 1GBPS.
“High speed internet services are extremely important to our community. Myself along with our Local Technology Planning Team are committed to continue to identify those unserved areas in our community. By partnering with our internet service providers we will continue to implement high speed internet services in Okeechobee County.” - Commissioner Burroughs.
In Hendry County, internet service providers were awarded nearly $13 million dollars to expand access and improve broadband internet service.
The following projects are among those that will received funds from the grants initial award cycle:
- City of LaBelle; Montura ($2,496,672) — to add 58.8 miles of fiber optic cable to provide FTTH (fiber to the home) services to 1,424 unserved and underserved locations within Hendry County with minimum symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1 GBPS (GigaBytes Per Second).
- Cities of Clewiston, Moore Haven, and Pioneer; Montura, Palmdale, Port LaBelle and Venus ($5,000,000) — to deploy FTTH services to more than 4,231 unserved locations in Glades, Hendry, and Highlands Counties with symmetrical download and upload speeds of between 1GB and 2GB.
- Pioneer; La Deca and Montura ($4,750,000) — to bring high speed internet service to eastern Hendry County through installation of fixed wireless service to 1,700 households at download speeds of 100 MBPS (Megabits per second) and upload speeds of 10 MBPS.
- City of Moore Haven; Lakeport and Ortona ($2,935,296) — to add 160 miles of fiber optic cable to provide FTTH services to 4,651 unserved and underserved locations within Glades County with minimum symmetrical download and upload speeds of 1 GBPS.
- Yeehaw Junction and Kenansville ($4,067,268) — to deploy 153.5 miles of new fiber optic cable and provide FTTH services to 791 unserved locations within Osceola County with download speeds of 300 MBPS and upload speeds of 10 MBPS.
- Unincorporated Okeechobee County ($2,059,550) — to deploy fiber optic cable internet service to 2,312 unserved households in Okeechobee County with download and upload speeds of up to 1GBPS.
- Unincorporated Okeechobee County ($984,350) — to deploy fiber optic cable internet service to 1,290 unserved households in Okeechobee County with download and upload speeds of up to 1GBPS.
- Indiantown ($56,500) — to deploy fiber optic cable internet service to 50 unserved households in Martin County with download and upload speeds of up to 1GBPS.
Additional grant funding will be available later this year providing an opportunity to apply for further expansion throughout the state.