Home Telecom Wows Regulatory Officials with Progress Report on Rural Broadband Expansion

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Representatives from South Carolina’s Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), which represents the public interest in handling all aspects of utility regulation for the state, visited the Home Telecom Nexton location in late October. Home Telecom welcomed them with an in-depth progress report from their engineering crews on their efforts to provide fiber infrastructure and broadband access to currently unserved rural areas in Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

The statewide accelerateSC task force, who is playing a vital role in the safe and swift revitalization of South Carolina’s economy following COVID-19, was tasked with determining the best use of the $1.9 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) directed at South Carolina in the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress to help provide relief to the U.S. economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the recommendations accelerateSC made to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was for the ORS to expend up to $50 million for broadband initiatives related to COVID-19.

Among the recommendations accelerateSC made to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was for the ORS to expend up to $50 million for broadband initiatives related to COVID-19.

Home Telecom is using the qualifying funds available to provide internet services to 426 unserved residences, businesses, and critical facilities in portions of Berkeley and Dorchester counties. This commitment from Home Telecom to lay fiber-to-the-premises infrastructure whenever unserved communities are identified, significantly benefits those rural communities.

For one, it provides internet access to stay-at-home students who are still distance learning. It also provides internet service for people who have not been able to work remotely after they were forced into self-quarantine; and third, internet access will make telemedicine/telehealth services available to those who haven’t had access before, at a time when some healthcare facilities are requiring virtual health screenings before making an in-person appointment.

Providing access to the internet in today’s highly communicative world is equivalent to people in rural areas getting access to electrical power in the 1930s. With businesses and schools closed or opened sporadically during the coronavirus pandemic, internet access for all Americans is essential, not just for providing services, but for keeping people in the know concerning the state of the economy, government affairs, education, and CDC health and safety guidelines and recommendations.

Home Telecom was proud to share with the ORS our determination to expand internet access throughout the Lowcountry!