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South Carolina Finalizes $400M in Broadband Grants Allocated by American Rescue Plan Act

Broadband infrastructure development celebration.

South Carolina Completes $400M in Broadband Grants, Including Last Batch

South Carolina has announced that it has finished awarding $400 million in broadband grants, financed through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). A total of 19 companies have been presented with funding since December 2022, with the last awards being confirmed today.

This substantial financial investment is set to be buttressed by an additional $263 million provided by the 19 grant recipients, leading to an overall match rate of 39.7%. The funds were administered by the state through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) and the Capital Projects Fund (CPF) under ARPA. The CPF accounted for one round of awards while SLFRF was responsible for three rounds of awards, the last of which was finalized today with 12 broadband providers receiving over $43 million.

Distribution of ARPA Funding

The South Carolina Broadband Office has published a summary showing how the entire $400 million received from ARPA has been allocated. WC Fiber, an established local provider that has been in operation for 65 years, has emerged as the highest beneficiary, bagging a total of $95.6 million. Other major grant recipients include Comporium at $63.7 million; Farmers Telephone Cooperative at $36.5 million, and TruVista at $34.4 million.

Four major providers also benefited, with each getting close to or over $20 million. These include Charter, which will receive $27.9 million; AT&T ($27.7 million) and Comcast ($20.3 million). Brightspeed, the fourth major provider, will receive just under $1 million. Additionally, several local providers also won funding, including Palmetto, which received $21.6 million, and Home Telecom, which received $18.4 million.

Advancing Broadband Connectivity in South Carolina

Jim Stritzinger, director of the South Carolina Broadband Office, extolled the collaborative efforts with Internet Service Providers and the efficient and strategic deployment of funds. He attributed the milestone of having achieved full grant allocation six months ahead of federal requirements to the adoption of an “agile methodology.”

Most of the funds will be used towards fiber broadband deployments. However, a portion is also targeted at hybrid fiber coax networks. The full list of grant recipients comprises of a variety of providers both local and national, serving to highlight the diverse interest in improving broadband connectivity within the state.

Additional breakdowns of the awards by funding round, as well as further information about South Carolina broadband, can be found online.


South Carolina Finalizes $400M in Broadband Grants Allocated by American Rescue Plan Act

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