South Carolina awarded $112.3 million in broadband grant funding to eight providers on Friday – and all eight winners are local providers based in the state, primarily rural ILECs. The awards were made through the South Carolina Broadband Office.
The total to be invested is $162.1 million, with providers responsible for the balance. A total of 17 projects will receive funding.
The awards were made through the state’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Capital Projects Fund (CPF 1.0) and are expected to bring broadband to over 16,000 locations.
The eight companies receiving funding are:
- WC Fiber
- Carolina Connect Cooperative
- Farmers Telephone Cooperative
- Home Telephone Company
- Horry Telephone Company
- Palmetto Communications
- Sandhill Telephone Cooperative
The results of this funding round are somewhat different from other awards that South Carolina has made, where large price cap carriers won funding. Earlier this year, AT&T and Comcast were some of the biggest winners in the state’s American Rescue Plan Act, State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Priority 1.0 grant program.
Some of Friday’s awardees – Farmers Telephone Cooperative and Palmetto — also received funding in that round.
In a prepared statement, Jim Stritzinger, director of the South Carolina Broadband Office, said the office expects to complete its CPF decisions in early 2024.
“With these investments, ISPs are now penetrating hard-to-reach areas from the Lowcountry to the Upstate and lives are changing by the day,” Stritzinger continued.
South Carolina was awarded $185 million in federal Capital Projects Fund dollars in May, all of which was slated to go toward broadband deployments.
Additional information about South Carolina broadband, including links to state resources, relevant Telecompetitor coverage and more, can be found on the Broadband Nation web page for the state.