More than 30 local, state, federal and corporate officials met this month to discuss how to develop more broadband Internet access and service throughout the six counties of the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone.
A March 30 news story at SavannahNow.com highlighted the all-day workshop held in Barnwell to develop pathways for high-speed broadband networks that are among the top strategic goals for economic and community development by the Promise Zone. An excerpt:
A challenge in many areas of the country is “getting people all to move in the same direction,” said Brandon McBride, administrator of Rural Utilities Service in Washington, D.C. “What you are doing here is not common.”
Integral to the effort is funding from the federal government. “We are helping this area to compete regionally and nationally,” said Michele Cardwell, acting state director of USDA Rural Development.
One enlightenment to many was that there is already an effort to improve the quality of connectivity in the Promise Zone area. Many of the companies are already one year into a federally-funded project to “install Internet to areas that have none,” said Jim Stritzinger of Connect SC, a non-profit organization tasked with developing the geographic information system (GIS) or simply, maps, of Internet availability in the state.