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Palmetto Electric Cooperative is partnering with Walterboro, S.C.,-based Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC) for PalmettoLink, which aims to bring high-speed internet to rural residents in the South Carolina counties of Allendale, Hampton and Jasper.

“We are very excited to partner with Palmetto Electric to bring fiber optic broadband to the rural residents of Allendale, Hampton and Jasper counties,” said Jason Dandridge of Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC) in a prepared statement. “The pandemic of 2020 certainly demonstrated the daily need for broadband in terms of educational standards and in business in a timely manner. We are proud to be partners with a sister cooperative in bringing this technology to the region.”

PalmettoLink will take three years to complete. The first step will be the installation of fiber-optic cable on Palmetto Electric’s lines, which is expected to improve the cooperative’s electric distribution system reliability as well as to provide broadband connections. Palmetto Electric Cooperative serves 75K members across its territory.

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“For more than a year, Palmetto Electric’s management and Board of Directors have been researching ways to improve the co-op’s internal communication system to provide a more reliable high-speed network connection between our offices, substations and grid-connected equipment in rural areas,” said A. Berl Davis Jr., Palmetto Electric president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Throughout this process, it became clear that we could leverage this upgraded network to not only improve our internal operation but also bring high-speed internet to our rural members.”

South Carolina is no stranger to telco-electric broadband partnerships, with Comporium and York Electric Cooperative announcing a similar broadband partnership earlier this year.

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