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Connect South Carolina Releases New Broadband Availability Figures in Support of GIS Day

By Jennifer Cobb

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On November 20 and in support of GIS Day, Connect South Carolina released new broadband analysis showing the broadband availability gap in South Carolina is shrinking with notable increases in mobile wireless broadband. According to the latest data, 99.51% of South Carolina households now have access to broadband speeds of 6 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, including mobile wireless. This is an increase of 5.05% (excluding satellite services) since April 2013.

"We are very pleased to see that access to broadband has increased in many facets throughout South Carolina," said Connect South Carolina State Program Lead Heather Jones. "As we have before, we plan to continue to work with providers, businesses, and households to further improve the access to broadband and promote adoption and awareness in the state."

GIS Day celebrates the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze diverse topics in local, state, federal, and international applications. GIS is used daily as an essential part of Connect South Carolina’s mission to inform and advance the understanding and utilization of broadband services. Connect South Carolina collects and processes broadband coverage information from Internet service providers and then aggregates that coverage to create a comprehensive display of where broadband is and is not available. The resulting analyses of maximum download speed, density of unserved households, and others are created using GIS to enable decision makers.

Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:

  • 93.91% of households have access to fixed broadband speeds of 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload or higher, the relevant metric the FCC uses to determine eligibility for Connect America Fund subsidies.

  • 99.49% of South Carolina’s households now have access to broadband service of at least 10 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, including mobile wireless; this is an increase of 5.21% from April 2013 (excluding satellite services).

  • 80.19% of South Carolina’s households now have access to broadband service of at least 25 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, excluding mobile wireless and satellite services; this in an increase of 2.27% from April 2013.

  • 38% of South Carolina’s households now have access to broadband service of at least 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, excluding mobile wireless and satellite services, which is an increase of 2.14% from April 2013.

  • Fiber broadband availability at 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload increased from 8.4% in April 2013 to 10.82% in October 2013, an increase of 2.42%. 

  • Approximately 53,000 rural households (4%) remain unserved by fixed broadband at basic speeds of at least 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload.

Connect South Carolina released the first statewide broadband inventory in 2010 and this marks the eighth comprehensive broadband data refresh. Connect South Carolina has developed an innovative broadband mapping tool called My ConnectViewTM offering unmatched views of South Carolina’s technology landscape. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data.

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