Florida Department of Management Services
State Capacity Building:
The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) will establish a broadband programs office to lead collaborative efforts in broadband capacity building across local, regional, and state public and private institutions. The broadband programs office will include a grant development team and an E-rate program team. The E-rate team will provide direct support to eligible community anchor institutions so that Florida can best leverage available funding opportunities. The grant development team will provide technical assistance to organizations across the state that are seeking to increase broadband access and adoption in their communities.
The Library Connectivity Assessment project will deploy technology teams to provide a hardware and network assessment to 180 Florida public libraries in rural and underserved communities. A similar pilot program led to a number of simple network configuration solutions that, when implemented, improved the speed of the community anchor institutions’ broadband service. The technology team will also work with each library to provide recommendations for addressing larger, systematic problems.
Local Regional Technology Planning Teams:
In partnership with Florida’s 11 Regional Planning Councils (RPCs), DMS will develop and sustain regional planning teams that will be integrated into the current work of the RPCs. The RPCs will inventory and document local broadband assets, document broadband demand through an inclusive process that draws residents and institutional actors, and develop a comprehensive regional plan.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.