Officials, community meeting to address questions over rural broadband expansion
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Construction is well underway in Dorchester County on a project to expand broadband to rural parts of the county and officials say many residents are excited but still have lots of questions about the project.
Last year, Dorchester County Council approved $8.5 million of funding to match private funding to expand broadband to rural parts of the county.
Daniel Prentice with Dorchester County says the goal of this high-speed internet access expansion is to meet two major needs in the community. The first is unserved areas with no access to broadband. The second is underserved areas with very limited access.
Prentice says it’s important for these areas to be supported now that schoolwork and telework are more common in the modern world.
Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative, a locally owned telecommunications provider, matched the county’s funding and is working on installing roughly 325 miles of fiber that will serve roughly 4,000 homes and businesses.
Tuesday, in Saint George, leaders in Dorchester County and PRTC will meet with residents to make sure they are fully informed on the expansion.
“Ms. Holman, councilwoman that represents District 1, most of the areas that are going to receive the internet are her constituents. So, she’s been holding these community outreach series to try to bring the information directly to them, especially in a circumstance where people might not have internet,” Prentice says.
The county updates its website every month so residents can check to see if they are in the expansion zone and how far along the construction process is going.
Prentice says internet service is optional and there are some financial help opportunities for residents who may not be able to afford it.
Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Shady Grove Family Life Center at 9140 Charleston Hwy in Saint George.
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