Blog // Connect South Carolina

Lexington County Joins Innovative Broadband Expansion Effort

By Jennifer Cobb

Community leaders with Lexington Connects have enrolled their community in an innovative program that seeks to boost the local economy and quality of life for residents though increased access, adoption, and use of broadband.

On Wednesday, February 19, Connect South Carolina community technology advisors Leslie Callison and Heather Jones led the community leaders through the steps of the Connected Community Engagement Program that offers a comprehensive and localized way for communities to bridge the digital divide impacting many regions.

The kick-off planning meeting was held at the Lexington County Administration building, with more than 50 attendees from numerous county municipalities, the local technical college, library, healthcare system, and local agencies.

"Lexington County School District One is ‘all in’ on Connect South Carolina’s initiative to ensure that all South Carolinians can experience the benefits of broadband," said Dr. Karen Woodward, Lexington County School District One superintendent. "Technology and access to the Internet for all our students and their parents would be a great equalizer. Information is power, and there is no more powerful access to information than the Internet. The Internet is a window to the future."

The Connected Community Engagement Program involves building a comprehensive Technology Action Plan for developing a technology-ready community by reviewing the technology landscape, developing regional partnerships, establishing local teams, and conducting a thorough community assessment.

During the kickoff meeting, the need was stressed for additional talent in the IT pipeline.  Technology in education was also touted as a bright spot as Lexington County School District One began its Personal Mobile Computing Initiative during the 2010-2011 school year and in 2011-2012, all high school students received iPads; in 2012-2013 the program expanded to middle school students.

"Our vision is for every student in the district to have that window to the world, that unlimited access to information that results when Internet connectivity is provided to every home," said Dr. Woodward. "We certainly see the South Carolina Connected initiative as a catalyst to help turn this vision into reality." 

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