South Carolina has received a large matching grant to help the expansion of broadband coverage around the state.
The $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant will support a comprehensive broadband mapping and planning initiative through the Connect South Carolina program, a non-profit organization created to increase broadband Internet access throughout the state.
The national non-profit Connected Nation, created in 2005, will use a new interactive mapping system in the Palmetto State, a way for local leaders, policymakers and consumers to devise a plan for broadband expansion. The software allows a user to evaluate broadband expansion and speed, using information about local education and population demographics.
The initiative has the endorsement of Governor Mark Sanford, who says people living in rural South Carolina need to get on the information highway if the state will be competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.