On Friday, Eight local providers, mostly rural ILECs, received $112.3 million in grant funds under South Carolina Broadband Funding.
Let’s read the news and learn more.
South Carolina Broadband Funding: Full $112.3M to Local Providers
The South Carolina Broadband Office awards these grants. A total of $162.1 million is to be invested for the expansion, and the remaining amount is the provider’s responsibility.
These grants are provided under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Capital Projects Fund (CPF 1.0) of the state, which is anticipated to provide internet service to more than 16,000 locations. Seventeen projects will be funded in total.
The eight companies that are to receive funding are WC Fiber, Carolina Connect Cooperative, Comporium, Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Home Telephone Company, Horry Telephone Company, Palmetto Communications, and Sandhill Telephone Cooperative.
Also, Read “Top Broadband Developments of 2023”
In addition, Federal Capital Projects Fund funding of $185 million was given to South Carolina in May, with the intention of using it entirely for broadband rollouts to over 31,000 unserved and underserved homes and businesses in the state.
In contrast to previous funding rounds in which South Carolina awarded funds to large price cap carriers, the outcomes of this funding round differ somewhat.
In the state’s American Rescue Plan Act, State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Priority 1.0 grant program earlier this year, AT&T and Comcast were among the top beneficiaries, along with 13 other companies.
AT&T was awarded $13.3 million, and Comcast was awarded $19 million.
Farmers Telephone Cooperative and Palmetto, two of Friday’s beneficiaries, were also funded in the previous round.
Director of the South Carolina Broadband Office Jim Stritzinger stated in a prepared statement that the office anticipates finishing its CPF decisions by the beginning of 2024.
He stated, “With these investments, ISPs are now penetrating hard-to-reach areas from the Lowcountry to the Upstate, and lives are changing by the day,” Stritzinger continued.
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