Recent News // Internet access coming to rural areas of Spartanburg County

Thursday, March 24, 2016
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Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 8:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 8:12 p.m.

Program helps provide service in places where it's lacking

Plans are underway to bring high-speed Internet access to rural parts of Spartanburg County.

The transformation is expected to bring new opportunities in education, business and economic development to areas that currently lack broadband service.

On Thursday, the county will be certified as a Connected Community through a program of Connect South Carolina and Connected Nation. The program helps communities pinpoint where Internet access is lacking and develop a plan to address it.

In 2009, Connected Nation was chosen to map broadband access in 12 states and one territory. In September, Connected Spartanburg was launched to work with the nonprofit Connect South Carolina to study the county's access, adoption and use of broadband service. The study's full results will be released Thursday at AFL corporate headquarters in Duncan.

Jim Stritzinger, executive director of Connect South Carolina, said the study shows that 95.8 percent of households in the county have access to 100 Mbps Internet speeds, but 63.2 percent of households with children where income is less than $20,000 per year do not have Internet at all. The study shows that 28.5 percent of households in the county do not subscribe to Internet service.

"We definitely see some challenges with low-income households with children at home struggling to afford broadband," Stritzinger said.

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