Volusia County Council expands broadband access

Volusia County officials approved an agreement with Spectrum to increase broadband infrastructure for residents and businesses in selected areas of the county, according to a county media release.

The County Council unanimously approved a subrecipient agreement with Spectrum to bring internet services that meet or exceed a speed of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload to certain areas of the county. The areas receiving the new infrastructure have gone unserved or underserved before now, the release states. The addition will impact more than 3,700 dwellings and is expected to bring internet to some of these areas as early as January 2024.

Funds for the project are from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, designated to offer relief from the impacts of COVID-19. During the pandemic, areas with unreliable internet faced many issues like being unable to work from home, conduct business, participate in distance learning or virtual meetings or quickly access pertinent information offered only online. For many, access to the internet is essential to help bridge the digital divide in rural areas.

“I definitely look forward to working with Spectrum in a number of our underserved areas and in bringing new resources to them,” Vice Chair Barb Girtman said in the release.

The agreement with Spectrum also requires the provider to offer similar pricing and service tiers to new customers as it offers to existing customers in the local area. While most of the new service area will be in northwest Volusia, the full list of areas gaining more access is Astor, DeLand, DeLeon Springs, Pierson, Seville, Daytona Beach, Deltona, Edgewater, Mims, New Smyrna Beach, Oak Hill, Osteen and Port Orange.