SC Broadband Office grants $132.8 million to 15 internet service providers

Feb. 6, 2023
The ARPA SLFRF 1.0 projects are expected to reduce the unserved home count to approximately 74,000 by the end of 2024.

The South Carolina Broadband Office (SCBBO) has announced grants totaling $132,799,403 to 15 internet service providers (ISPs) via its American Rescue Plan Act, State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Priority 1.0 (ARPA SLFRF 1.0) grant program. The grants will cover 56 projects in 33 counties. The total project cost for this round is estimated to be $256,755,322. This amount reflects an overall match rate of 48% non-ARPA funds (other federal and/or private investment), in addition to the ARPA funds the SCBBO will provide.

The ARPA SLFRF 1.0 projects are required to be completed by December 31, 2024. Assuming the projects complete as expected, these ISPs will have constructed more than 5,000 additional miles of fiber and provided high-speed internet access for at least 39,606 homes, businesses, and other facilities. The SCBBO estimates that efforts such as this one have reduced the number of unserved homes in South Carolina from 221,731 (8.9%, September 2021) to 137,004 (5.5%, September 2022), a reduction of 38.3% year-over-year. The ARPA SLFRF 1.0 projects are expected to reduce further the unserved home count to approximately 74,000 by the end of 2024.

“We are incredibly excited about this next chapter of broadband expansion in South Carolina,” said Jim Stritzinger, director of the SCBBO. “Across the state, most have probably noticed the ISP road crews working diligently to provide high-speed internet access to our homes and businesses. This set of investments will provide a substantial boost to the work that is already underway.”

The list of ISPs who have received funding in this round includes service providers large and small. Major names include AT&T, Comcast, Charter Communications, and Brightspeed.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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