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Upper Dorchester County, SC

Upper Dorchester County in South Carolina now has an action plan to make way for greater technology use across the community and pave the way for a brighter economic future. The Technology Action Plan was unveiled Thursday at the Dorchester County Library as part of Upper Dorchester County’s participation in the Connected Community Engagement Program through the Connect South Carolina initiative. Thirty-two South Carolina communities are currently involved in some stage of the Connected program, but Upper Dorchester is the state’s sixth to unveil its official Technology Action Plan.

Participating in the Connected program means Upper Dorchester has gone through an extensive assessment of its overall broadband and technology innovation. The Technology Action Plan sets general community-wide broadband connectivity requirements to be worked toward that will support economic development and residential quality of life. The new plan gives the community step-by-step action items to make sure that goals are met and will aid in future broadband expansion and programs that will ensure the community maintains widespread Internet access, adoption, and use.

Community Technology Advisor Lindsay Conrad hosted the event and shared with attendees Upper Dorchester’s technology inventory as well as scores indicating their success in the areas of access, adoption, and use. Also present were Upper Dorchester’s community champions, Deputy Director of Dorchester County Library Jennie Redmond and Mayor Anne J. Johnston of St. George.

“We must lead the way into the next 75  years, and technology will be the path,” Mayor Johnston said as she began the meeting. “That is why we are here today - to begin the journey and make sure broadband and technology are available to our people.”

Priority action items identified from the plan include creating local jobs using teleworking opportunities, developing a technology mentorship program to establish a “community technology academy,” and to identify, map, and validate broadband demand for the community.

“Technology opens the door to the future from healthcare to education, agriculture to business - everything we do now, we can do better, faster, and more efficiently,” said Redmond. “Making broadband technology a reality for the citizens of this community places a world of opportunities at their fingertips.”

The Connected program is part of the Connect South Carolina initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA State Broadband Initiative program. Connect South Carolina is working to facilitate the access, adoption, and use of technology throughout the state to create a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, more efficient government, enhanced education, and improved quality of life. Residents are encouraged to get involved by joining their local Connected technology team and using the free Every Community Online program offered by Connect South Carolina to get training in computer and Internet skills which makes them eligible for discounted computers and home Internet service.