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Home » Resources » South Carolina Counties Receive $24 Million for Broadband Expansion

South Carolina Counties Receive $24 Million for Broadband Expansion

Bamberg and Orangeburg counties in South Carolina have been awarded a $24 million grant to expand broadband internet access. The grant is part of the federal government’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), which is designed to provide high-speed internet to rural areas.

The grant will be used to construct a fiber-optic network that will connect homes and businesses in Bamberg and Orangeburg counties. The network is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

The expansion of broadband internet access in Bamberg and Orangeburg counties is expected to have a number of benefits. It will allow residents to access educational resources, telehealth services, and other online services that were previously unavailable. It will also help businesses to grow and create jobs.

The grant is a significant investment in the future of Bamberg and Orangeburg counties. It will help to close the digital divide and make sure that everyone in the community has access to high-speed internet.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is a $9.2 billion program that was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2020. The program is designed to provide high-speed internet to rural areas that do not have access to broadband.

The RDOF is the largest investment in rural broadband in American history. It is expected to connect more than 5.2 million rural households and businesses to high-speed internet.

The RDOF is being administered through a competitive bidding process. The FCC awarded the $24 million grant to Bamberg and Orangeburg counties through this process.

The Benefits of Broadband Internet Access

Broadband internet access has a number of benefits for individuals, businesses, and communities. For individuals, broadband internet access can be used to access educational resources, telehealth services, and other online services. It can also be used to stay connected with family and friends, and to conduct business online.

For businesses, broadband internet access can be used to improve productivity, increase sales, and attract new customers. It can also be used to connect with suppliers and partners, and to collaborate on projects.

For communities, broadband internet access can help to attract new businesses, create jobs, and boost the economy. It can also help to improve education, healthcare, and public safety.

The Impact of the Grant

The local funds are part of a larger, $700 million package of grants and loans designed to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 22 states and the Marshall Islands to reliable, affordable high-speed internet through the federal ReConnect Program.

USDA’s ReConnect investments in South Carolina include:

—A $12 million grant to Bamberg County that will be used to deploy a fixed wireless network to provide high-speed internet. This network is expected to benefit 5,241 people, 254 businesses, 60 farms and 24 educational facilities in Bamberg County.

Bamberg County will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

A $12 million grant to Orangeburg County will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to provide high-speed internet. This network is expected to benefit 4,155 people, 172 businesses, 72 farms and 13 educational facilities in Orangeburg County.

The county will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

“South Carolina is receiving $24 million in ReConnect funding, which will serve socially vulnerable communities in Bamberg and Orangeburg counties,” said Dr. Saundra Glover, state director for South Carolina Rural Development.

“This funding will help deploy high-speed internet service to rural homes, businesses and essential community facilities, which is critical in creating stronger communities in rural South Carolina,” she said.

The $24 million grant to Bamberg and Orangeburg counties is a significant investment in the future of the two counties. It will help to close the digital divide and make sure that everyone in the community has access to high-speed internet.

The expansion of broadband internet access is expected to have a number of benefits for residents of Bamberg and Orangeburg counties. It will allow them to access educational resources, telehealth services, and other online services that were previously unavailable. It will also help businesses to grow and create jobs.

The grant is a win-win for Bamberg and Orangeburg counties. It will help to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses, and it will boost the economy of the two counties.

Conclusion

The $24 million grant to Bamberg and Orangeburg counties is a significant investment in the future of the two counties. It will help to close the digital divide and make sure that everyone in the community has access to high-speed internet. The expansion of broadband internet access is expected to have a number of benefits for residents of Bamberg and Orangeburg counties, including improved access to educational resources, telehealth services, and other online services. It will also help businesses to grow and create jobs. The grant is a win-win for Bamberg and Orangeburg counties, and it is expected to have a positive impact on the quality of life for residents and businesses in the two counties.

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