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Connect South Carolina, Greenwood Partnership Alliance, Piedmont CMG Host Open House Celebrating Improved Broadband Connectivity

Years of connectivity issues, hampered productivity end for local manufacturer with help from Connect South Carolina, Greenwood Partnership Alliance

Piedmont Cmg Open House Group Photo 300x182 Pictured: Andy Carr, manufacturing specialist, S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership; States Clawson, manager, Existing Industry, SC Department of Commerce; Heather Jones, Connect South Carolina; Catalina Valencia, community champion, Greenwood Partnership Alliance; Randy Lis, director, product and business development, Piedmont Rural Telephone Company; Tony Byrum, new product manager, Piedmont CMG.

Ware Shoals, S.C. (April 10, 2013) - Connect South Carolina and Greenwood Partnership Alliance hosted an open house at Piedmont CMG’s Abbeville plant on Monday, April 8 with business and community leaders, government representatives, and media to help celebrate the success of the recent improvement to its broadband connectivity by offering a tour of the facility and sharing its story.

“Piedmont CMG depends heavily on consistent broadband connectivity with symmetry … today’s announcement of the coming fiber optic lines to both our Greenwood and Abbeville plants mark a major step forward in productivity and improved abilities to service both our external and internal customers,” said Tony Byrum, Piedmont CMG new product manager. “Piedmont CMG is grateful to Connect South Carolina and the Greenwood Partnership Alliance for their important role in this endeavor.”

This past January, leaders from Greenwood County enrolled their community in the innovative Connected program through Connect South Carolina to boost the local economy and quality of life for residents through increased access, adoption, and use of high-speed Internet. Representatives from Piedmont CMG, a manufacturer for the medical analytical and device industry, were at a Connected meeting after reaching the peak of frustration with their own connectivity needs.

Two managers of the current broadband service providers in Abbeville and Greenwood counties were introduced to Piedmont CMG’s management at the meeting, and that introduction set into motion events that ended a multi-year ordeal of inconsistent broadband connectivity.

The result of the various interactions between the various state agencies, local business leaders, and Piedmont CMG led to the signing of a construction contract with Piedmont Rural Telephone to bring fiber optics to both Piedmont’s Abbeville and Greenwood facilities, and the improved speed of fiber optics will position Piedmont CMG to more efficiently support its national and international customers.

“The mission of Connect South Carolina is to promote jobs and increase economic development through connectivity to broadband,” said Connect South Carolina Community Tech Advisor Heather Jones. “The community engagement process in Greenwood County uncovered a need and we were just delighted to be part of the solution.”

“We are pleased to see Piedmont CMG getting help resolving an ongoing connectivity issue. This is another example of how the public and private sectors come together as a team to resolve issues that affect one of our employers. It is not always about new investment and new jobs,” said Mark Warner, CEO of Greenwood Partnership Alliance. “Piedmont CMG now has a better understanding of how much their location in South Carolina means to everyone. Thanks should go to the folks with Connect South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Greenwood Partnership Alliance, the Abbeville County Development Board, and Piedmont Rural Telephone for some outstanding teamwork.”

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About Connect South Carolina: As the State Broadband Initiative, Connect South Carolina is leading the effort to increase high-speed Internet access, adoption and use to ensure South Carolina’s competitiveness in the connected global economy of the twenty-first century. Connect South Carolina is a public-private partnership designated by the state to work with all broadband providers to create South Carolina’s first interactive map of broadband coverage. This work serves as a foundation for addressing remaining service gaps while also engaging state, regional and local leaders in workforce development activities designed to bridge South Carolina’s digital divide. For maps, research or to get involved with efforts in your community please visit:

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Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide a community through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected Certified Communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective Access, Adoption, and Use of broadband supported technologies. Connected Nation through its partners provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks. Funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), this effort is part of the State Broadband Initiative.