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April 28, 2020

Broadband Maps Identify SC’s Internet Gaps

SCHA has partnered with the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) and Palmetto Care Connections (PCC) in the development of broadband maps depicting internet access and speed in each of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

The partnership commissioned a comprehensive study, conducted by Revolution D, Inc., to evaluate residential broadband capabilities throughout the state. The primary purpose of the maps is to identify the gaps in internet access so we can make improvements to advance telehealth access in South Carolina.

The study use data from the Geographic Information System (GIS), the FCC, Speedtest Intelligence®, and the U.S. Census to produce two maps for each county. One map shows the areas of need by indicating the download and upload speeds, as well as the density of unserved households per square mile. The other map shows the type and speed of the best technology available in each area.

“In today’s COVID-19 environment with directives to practice social distancing and stay at home as much as possible, now, more than ever, it is important for South Carolinians to have adequate access to high-speed internet,” said PCC CEO Kathy Schwarting. “Especially in the rural areas, the reality is that school children are having trouble completing online education assignments at home, the elderly and those without transportation are challenged with getting necessities for living, and countless individuals can’t connect to the internet to take advantage of telehealth options.”

SCHA and our partners in this effort hope that policymakers and state leaders will use this data to help develop a statewide plan for improving broadband access in our state.