HTC Announces Plan to Bring Broadband to Sandy Island in Georgetown

HTC construction and installation crewGrant Project Will Take a Creative Approach to Serving a Unique Island Community

 June 26, 2023, Conway, S.C. – HTC announced today it will soon begin construction work to bring broadband to the underserved residents of Sandy Island in Georgetown County, South Carolina. An unincorporated community only accessible by boat, Sandy Island is located on the largest freshwater island in the state of South Carolina.

“HTC prides itself as a cooperative that is committed to bringing quality broadband to every corner of communities we serve,” said Carlton Lewis, HTC CEO. “Before the pandemic, 27 percent of the rural households in Georgetown County lacked access to broadband. That number is now down to less than three percent, thanks to the hard work of our employees and the dedication of our local, state and federal partners. Sandy Island is an example of our shared commitment to get that number as close to zero as possible.”

Using a blend of innovative technologies, HTC will be utilizing a hybrid solution of wireless and wired technologies to deliver a fiber to the home solution for residents. As part of the project, HTC will be utilizing Santee Cooper power poles, which are already in place on Sandy Island.

“We are in a unique position to assist unserved South Carolinians by building upon essential resources and infrastructure we already have in place,” said Jimmy Staton, Santee Cooper President and CEO. “We’re excited to be working with HTC to bring broadband to Sandy Island.”

The project is set to begin in Fall 2023 and finish in Spring 2024. It will provide service to all of the homes on Sandy Island as well as the island’s School House/Library, which doubles as a community center for residents.

Upon completion, everyone on Sandy Island will have access to symmetrical speeds of 500 Mbps, which is five times faster than the national benchmark for high-speed internet. In addition to internet service, residents will also be able to access video, security and voice options provided by HTC.

As is the case with any successful rural broadband build, partnerships are key to being successful. HTC also worked closely with the South Carolina Broadband Office and Georgetown County Council to make this project a reality and to understand the unique challenges of reaching Sandy Island. 

“We have been working to bring reliable broadband service to Sandy Island and its residents for a long time so they could be on par with the rest of Georgetown County,” said Georgetown County Council Chairman Louis R. Morant. “We appreciate HTC stepping up to make this a soon-to-be reality and when this project is complete, Sandy Island residents will have much-needed, and overdue, access without disruption. It is a very exciting time and Georgetown County Council is happy to hear it’s all finally coming together.”

“As we work to close the digital divide in South Carolina, there are special, hard-to-reach places that require creative approaches to deliver broadband service,” said Jim Stritzinger, Director of the South Carolina Broadband Office.  “In this case, HTC is utilizing a unique hybrid approach to satisfy the urgent needs of Sandy Island in Georgetown County. We are supporting this project with a limited investment of state funds and look forward to hearing from Sandy Island residents as they enjoy high-speed internet for the first time from the comfort of their homes. “

HTC will be holding a community meeting for Sandy Island residents in the coming weeks to share more details on the construction process and HTC services.

 About HTC

HTC is the largest telecommunications cooperative in the United States. Celebrating more than 70 years as the local leader in communications, HTC provides services in Horry, Georgetown and Marion counties. Utilizing the area’s most extensive fiber optic network, HTC service offerings include: Internet; Video; Security; Mobile; and Voice. HTC also offers advanced business services, including: Internet; Voice and Hosted Voice Solutions; IT Solutions such as Wi-Fi, Data Backup & Recovery and Firewalls; and Business Security. To learn more about HTC, visit For additional information about HTC, or becoming a member, call 843-365-2154.


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