A dearth of high-speed internet access in much of rural Florida is hamstringing efforts to build a high quality workforce, experts are warning.
A new report by Florida Independent Colleges and Universities shows nearly 700,000 Sunshine State residents lack broadband internet access.
The group’s president, Ed Moore, warned a state panel the problem threatens Florida’s ability to compete economically.
“We’re going to have to take a hard look at what access there is to digital learning and digital infrastructure across our state is. You cannot get ahead if you cannot get online.”
Moore was addressing the Higher Education Coordinating Council.
The group estimates that 55 percent of Florida’s workforce will need a college degree or professional certificate by 2025 to be competitive.
The current rate is 47 percent.