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Recent News // Richland County Recognized as America’s First Certified Connected Capital Community

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Richland County, home to the City of Columbia, receives Connected  community certification, releases Technology Action Plan

 

Richland County, SC – Today, Connect South Carolina, in collaboration with IT-oLogy, presented its annual summit - Connections 2015 - which highlighted the impact of broadband on the state of South Carolina. In addition, in conjunction with Richland County, an award ceremony was held to announce Richland County’s certified Connected community status and release its Technology Action Plan. Since Richland County is home to the city of Columbia and five other municipalities, it becomes America’s First Certified Connected Capital Community.  It is the seventh certified Connected community in South Carolina. 

Joined together for this event were representatives from Richland County Council, Richland County Information Technology Department, Richland County Economic Development, city of Columbia, University of South Carolina, South Carolina Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging, IT-oLogy, county and municipal officials, broadband service providers, information technology professionals, and the public.

“With the complete support of Richland County Council, Janet Claggett (CIO) and the Richland County IT team demonstrated amazing creativity to pull off this massive project,” said Jim Stritzinger, executive director of Connect South Carolina. “As one example, because of Richland’s diverse geography and population, a complete University of South Carolina telecommunications class was leveraged to collect the data. Connect South Carolina applauds Richland County’s work to improve broadband access and invest in 21st century economic development resources.”

Richland County has been working with Connect South Carolina since September 2013 on the Connected Community Engagement Program. This initiative assesses the local broadband landscape, identifies connectivity gaps, and establishes technology-driven goals and objectives to increase broadband access, adoption, and use for families, organizations, and businesses throughout the community.

“Broadband is one of the key factors for keeping Richland County globally competitive,” Chairman Torrey Rush said. “It’s simply fundamental and must be made available to all of our residents - not just the ones that live in the major metro areas. Certification is wonderful; however, we recognize that it is simply the first step in a long mission. Today’s high-speed broadband will certainly be outdated in the near future. I’m thrilled to see the work that our Richland County IT team and Connect South Carolina have completed.  We are committed to having strong information infrastructure and maintaining a roadmap for how we are going to make it happen.”

Connected certification affords a community an avenue to discuss its success and pursue opportunities as a recognized technologically advanced community. The Richland County Technology Action Plan unveiled at the event includes projects and action items related to upgrading 911 capabilities, improving online business services, identifying existing vertical assets, and analyzing local policies and ordinances. The certification is an important milestone as the team now phases into implementing its newly established Technology Action Plan.

For questions about the Connected Community Engagement Program in South Carolina, please contact info@connectsc.org.

Download the full release here.

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About Connect South Carolina: Connect South Carolina is leading the effort to increase high-speed Internet access, adoption, and use to ensure South Carolina’s competitiveness in the connected global economy of the twenty-first century. Connect South Carolina has a public-private partnership with IT-oLogy and other organizations that works with all broadband providers to create South Carolina’s first interactive map of broadband coverage. This work serves as a foundation for addressing remaining service gaps while also engaging state, regional, and local leaders in workforce development activities designed to bridge South Carolina’s digital divide. For maps, research, or to get involved with efforts in your community, please visit: www.ConnectSC.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide a community through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected certified communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective access, adoption, and use of broadband-supported technologies. Connected Nation, through its partners, provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks.