Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rural Internet Broadband Lacking

Florida Tax Credits And Savings To Encourage Development

LABELLE, FL. -- Despite the potential economic and social benefits of broadband network access, there remains a digital divide between urban and rural communities in the availability of high-speed networks, and state governments are taking a variety of approaches to address the problem.

Broadband adoption averages 73% of Internet households in urban areas of the country but just 55% in rural areas. A number of states have created task forces to evaluate the status of broadband deployment and consider possible regulatory changes to encourage its expansion to underserved areas, some are offering tax incentives to service providers and consumers to encourage infrastructure development and increase demand for the service, and some states have established dedicated funding to support infrastructure development.

Florida provides income tax credits for any project designed to provide increased access to high-speed broadband capabilities, which includes coverage of a rural enterprise zone. The state also exempts development projects sponsored by nonprofit or government �eligible sponsors� to increases access to high-speed broadband capability for rural communities with enterprise zones from sales tax.

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