A broadband provider from the Midlands has received more than $3.4 million in federal funding to expand broadband access to rural and underserved areas.
TriCoLink, based in St. Matthews in Calhoun County , received the funding as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, according to a news release.
TriCoLink is a local broadband provider delivering high-speed fiber internet access to six counties in central South Carolina. It was created as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tri-County Electric Cooperative to meet the internet needs of unserved and underserved regions in its service area.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to use this funding to expand broadband access to our membership,” said Chad Lowder, CEO of Tri-County Electric Cooperative. “Access to high-speed internet is essential for education, healthcare, business and quality of life especially in our rural communities.”
The funding will allow TriCoLink to provide affordable and reliable internet services to residents in Cameron, Creston, Elgin, Elloree, Fort Motte, Lugoff, Santee and St. Matthews.
“The S.C. Broadband Office has been a great partner in leading the effort to distribute ARPA funds for broadband expansion,” Lowder said.
The overall investment from the S.C. Broadband Office includes more than 5,000 additional miles of fiber providing high-speed internet to more than 39,000 locations around the state.