The Upper Savannah Council of Governments is encouraging participation in the GetConnectedSC campaign to deliver reliable, high-speed internet access across the State.
Part of the campaign’s efforts are to get citizens from the Upper Savannah region and across the state to complete a survey about their internet access capabilities at https://cx.ravencsi.com/aK8qm.
The purpose of the survey is to identify who has fast internet, slow internet or no internet access. The survey results can help determine which areas of the region are underserved with reliable high-speed internet access.
“Elected officials, administrators and other community leaders who are aware of citizens in their jurisdictions who do not have internet access can get them to call me to help them fill out the surveys over the phone,” USCOG Government Services Director Rick Green said. “We need to hear from citizens who lack adequate internet.”
Green can be reached at (864) 941-8072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GetConnectedSC campaign is designed to identify the areas of greatest need in our state, invest in broadband infrastructure to those areas and provide support services to make that transformation possible for every home, business and community organization in South Carolina.
The initiative is part of a nationwide effort to improve broadband access. In 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) which included $65 billion for the deployment of broadband infrastructure development and digital inclusion efforts across the country.
As a required first step in the deployment of these funds, South Carolina was granted planning funds for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) and Digital Equity (DE) programs which ultimately lead to additional grants.
The BEAD and DE planning processes which include collecting internet access surveys extend through the summer of 2023 and culminate with the submission of the SC Five-Year Broadband and Digital Equity Plans to the federal government in August.
Once the South Carolina Five-Year plans have been approved, a minimum of $100 million additional federal funds for the BEAD program and tens of millions for the DE program will be made available to South Carolina to continue investment in broadband infrastructure and adoption statewide.