AT&T expands coverage to rural areas across Lowcountry
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Broadband Office announced a project with AT&T to expand the company’s coverage to 9,000 customers located in Greenville and Charleston.
The company is building an AT&T Fiber location to serve nearly 2,500 customers in Greenville and around 6,900 customers in Charleston. Combined, the projects are valued at $22.8 million to provide faster internet for customers and businesses in more rural areas.
The Office of Regulatory Staff identified the areas of need around the state to cover underserved areas with children in school between K-12.
AT&T’s Regional Director of External Affairs for South Carolina, Jason Eckstein, says it was a competitive grant process to decide which areas received additional coverage.
“Helping to bridge the digital divide is important to AT&T, just as it is for other providers and folks in the community,” Eckstein says. “So, for us, wherever there is need to bridge that digital divide, that’s where we’d like to focus certainly. We are just very proud to have the opportunity to partner with the state and these particular counties.”
Working with the state, AT&T is thankful for the support behind bridging the digital divide. Governor Henry McMaster said the following in response to the project:
“For South Carolina to remain competitive, especially in our rural areas, we must ensure that high-speed internet is a possibility for every South Carolinian,” McMaster says. “Thanks to the partnership between the South Carolina Broadband Office and our private partners, like AT&T, we continue to make great progress and ultimately improve the quality of life for thousands of South Carolinians.”
Next, the project will begin design and engineering before moving into the construction phase, which is expected to take several months before the entire project is expected to be completed in December 2024.
“I think we will continue to see continued investment,” Eckstein says. “I think we’ll continue to see our own private investment and if there’s an opportunity to partner with the state in future grant applications, we’ll certainly pursue those as well.”
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