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USDA Invests $9.75 Million in Rural Broadband for South Carolina Families

For Immediate Release on October 22, 2019 


(Orangeburg, SC, Oct. 22, 2019) – Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested $9,750,000 in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for 3,911 rural households in South Carolina. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.

“Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America,” Secretary Perdue said. “We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is proud to partner with rural communities to deploy this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster added, “We are grateful for the leadership President Trump and Secretary Perdue have shown in focusing on increasing broadband connectivity in rural areas. From enhanced health care access to modernizing our educational and workforce resources, these funds will be instrumental in ensuring that Orangeburg County, and all of South Carolina, will remain competitive in the global economy.”

South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said, “High-speed internet in rural areas helps farmers connect to new markets and promote their businesses – and what’s good for farmers is good for their communities. This initiative will boost Orangeburg County and the rest of the state.”

Orangeburg, County, S.C., will use ReConnect Program grant funding to deploy a fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband network capable of simultaneous transmission rates of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater. The funded service areas include 3,911 households, 21 farms, 17 rural businesses, 13 educational facilities, nine critical community facilities and a health care center. The project will facilitate more access to services and information for local residents, and it will improve the overall quality of life for people in the community.

Read the original press release here