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Recent News // Connect South Carolina Releases New Broadband Availability Figures

Friday, June 15, 2012

Research shows that broadband access gap in South Carolina shrinking; 96.75% of residents now have access at FCC speed tier goals

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Columbia, SC – New research unveiled today by Connect South Carolina shows that the broadband availability gap in South Carolina is shrinking, with 96.75% of South Carolina residents now having access to broadband, compared to 96.16% last year. In addition, 82.72% of South Carolina households can access broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload.

Nonprofit Connect South Carolina has been working since 2009 to ensure that South Carolina residents have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use.

Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:

  • 83.04% of South Carolina households can access broadband at advertised speeds of 6 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, meaning that 305,455 households are in areas that may be eligible for Universal Service Fund broadband deployment subsidies.
  • 95.84% of rural households in South Carolina have access to broadband.
  • 25.63% of South Carolina households have access to broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload. In October 2011, only 1.06% of households in South Carolina had access to these broadband speeds.
  • Broadband is available to 96.75% of South Carolina households, up from 96.16% last October, leaving only 58,456 South Carolina households unable to connect to basic high-speed Internet.
  • 74.79% of South Carolina households have the ability to choose broadband service from two or more non-mobile broadband providers

Note: The data in this report are subject to data validation.

“We are encouraged by the progress we are seeing in the effort to bridge South Carolina’s broadband access gaps,” said Corey Johns, Connect South Carolina stakeholder relations manager. “The effort must continue, however, if we are to bring the empowering technology of broadband to the remaining 58,456 South Carolina households currently without access to basic, non-mobile, high-speed Internet service.”

Last April, Connect South Carolina released an innovative new broadband mapping tool called My ConnectView 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.

Connect South Carolina’s research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The data were gathered in accordance with the requirements of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and subsequent clarifications set forth by the NTIA. The process begins by contacting all known providers in South Carolina and providing information about the broadband mapping project. Information on broadband service areas is collected from each willing provider through voluntary participation. A nondisclosure agreement (NDA) is offered to all providers prior to the submission of data; the data protected through the NDA is limited to highly sensitive network infrastructure information, including middle-mile locations. Connected Nation strives to maintain a flexible mapping process in order to be able to collect data from providers in a variety of formats based on providers’ technical capabilities and resources.

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