New broadband services are coming to in-need areas in Volusia County.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Volusia County Council approved a broadband infrastructure that will provide access to high-speed internet for some residents and businesses in selected areas of the county with help from funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, which were designated to offer relief from the impacts of COVID-19 and is part of President Biden’s Build Back Better program.
During the pandemic, areas with unreliable internet faced many issues, like not being able to work from home, conduct business, participate in distance learning or virtual meetings, and the absence of quick access to pertinent information offered only online. For many, access to the internet is essential to help bridge the digital divide in rural areas.
According to the release, the council unanimously approved a sub-recipient agreement with Spectrum of $4.57 million to construct a $17.62 million broadband infrastructure to bring internet services that meet or exceed a speed of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload to specific areas of the county. The areas receiving the new infrastructure have gone unserved or underserved before now. The addition will impact more than 3,700 dwellings, bringing internet access to these areas as early as January 2024.
The agreement with Spectrum will require the provider to offer similar pricing and service tiers to new customers as it offers to existing customers in the local area.
“I look forward to working with Spectrum in a number of our underserved areas and in bringing new resources to them,” said Vice Chair Barb Girtman.
While most of the new service areas will be in northwest Volusia, the complete list of areas that will gain more digital access are: Astor, DeLand, DeLeon Springs, Pierson, Seville, Daytona Beach, Deltona, Edgewater, Mims, New Smyrna Beach, Oak Hill, Osteen, and Port Orange.