HTC is committed to bridging the digital divide in our region, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cooperative is excited to have been selected to receive federal financial resources to help us expand broadband access to unserved areas.
The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) recently awarded HTC $1.8 million dollars through the South Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Program (SCBIP) to fund approximately $3.6 million worth of projects in Horry, Georgetown, and Marion counties. HTC is providing matching funds for these projects.
The SCBIP was created to provide high-speed broadband internet access to unserved South Carolinians who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. The funding for this project comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and is managed by the ORS.
The proposed HTC projects are focused in communities with the greatest need for internet access in responding to COVID-19. As the country adapts to new and different ways to handle necessary tasks, like remote education, telemedicine and working from home, high-speed internet access is critical. The projects to be completed by HTC will help increase broadband availability in rural portions of our region.
The projects are in progress and must be completed by Dec. 18, 2020, according to ORS regulations. Look for a more in-depth reveal of this project in the fall 2020 edition of Life Connections Magazine, expected to arrive in mailboxes on or around Dec. 1, 2020.