Over $185 million invested for higher-quality internet to SC homes in need

About 23% of households and businesses across the state lack access to high-speed internet.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:25 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:52 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - About 23% of households and businesses across the state lack access to high-speed internet. To combat this, the U.S. Department of Treasury has approved over $185.8 million of capital projects funding to bring higher quality internet access to over 31,000 homes.

This program is called “The Next, Next Greatest Main Street, South Carolina Grant Program” and it comes from money in the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan. This is the stimulus package that was passed to help those affected financially by the pandemic.

Congressman Jim Clyburn says the South Carolina Broadband Office estimated in 2021 that they would need $600 million in federal funds to serve every underserved household by the end of 2026.

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure law, South Carolina has secured this funding,” Clyburn said.

Gene Sperling, senior advisor to the President and American Rescue Plan coordinator, says he is grateful this plan is in action.

“We estimate that over $25 billion from the American Rescue Plan has gone to jumpstarting this national goal of universal, high-speed internet, broadband coverage,” Sperling said.

This program will require all service providers to participate in the FCC’s affordable connectivity program and qualifying households will be discounted $30 per month for their internet. Clyburn says the Broadband Office of South Carolina has been helping other states with their network mapping and South Carolina’s mapping has been completed.

“And all they got to do now is stay on schedule and I think we will meet the governor’s goal of building out 100% in 3-5 years,” Clyburn said.

Click here to see if your home qualifies for higher-quality, more affordable internet.