GAFFNEY, SC (AP) – A county in South Carolina is partnering with a telecommunications company to extend broadband access to nearly 1,500 homes and small businesses in rural areas.
Cherokee County will invest $ 3 million in the expansion effort, with Charter Communications funding the rest, officials said Thursday.
The expansion project will produce 173 miles (278.42 kilometers) of network infrastructure to bring high-speed Internet service to unserved areas, according to a press release.
About 4,500 homes and small businesses do not have Internet service in the county, which has a total population of around 56,000.
Charter Communications has already received more than $ 3 million from the Federal Communications Commission to help connect approximately 3,000 of these locations to high-speed Internet.
Broadband expansion has become a focal point of the state legislature as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed school days and business meetings online, highlighting the gaps between areas urban and wealthy with better Internet access and poorer and less populated areas without such access.
The project will also help boost the county’s economic development, Cherokee County Administrator Steve Bratton said.
The expansion is expected to begin early next year.
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