Columbia, SC — South Carolina will receive approximately $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to further implement broadband initiatives for a full five-year award period through Connect South Carolina, the designated entity for broadband mapping in the state.
The additional funding will allow mapping efforts under the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) program to continue for three additional years, while the initiative also focuses on projects that relate to broadband planning activities, such as the identification of barriers to the adoption of broadband and information technology services, the creation and facilitation of local technology planning teams, and the establishment of computer ownership and Internet access programs.
“Broadband is a vital tool for our students and workforce in today’s modern economy,” explains Brian Mefford, CEO of Connect South Carolina’s parent organization, Connected Nation. “This grant will allow Connect South Carolina to promote the investment of broadband in areas that have been overlooked and to create opportunities for increased broadband adoption where subscribership remains low. Through this collaborative, public-private effort, we will have the benefit of working across all sectors to advance South Carolina’s technological priorities and make sure its citizens can enjoy the full impact of a connected community.”
Connect South Carolina will continue to engage in broadband data collection activities that will capture complete and up-to-date datasets from the state’s broadband providers and will result in regularly-scheduled maintenance and further enhancements to South Carolina BroadbandStat, the state’s interactive broadband map.
The Connect South Carolina initiative released the state’s first interactive broadband map in May 2010, and this funding will enable the state to prioritize and track progress over a longer period of time. South Carolina’s BroadbandStat interactive mapping tool is now available at www.connectsc.org. The data represented there will also support the National Broadband Map scheduled to be unveiled by NTIA in February 2011.
To view a summary of the new grant project please visit: http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/grantee/connected-nation-south-carolina.
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