The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) today opened the vendor application component of the rural broadband grant program, South Carolina’s plan to increase broadband internet availability.
The ORS has posted on its website project guidelines and an application form for potential broadband service providers to apply for funding for projects that build broadband networks in identified unserved communities across South Carolina.
Funding for the $30 million program comes from funds allocated by the S.C. Department of Commerce (SCDOC). The ORS and SCDOC will jointly develop guidelines for the Rural Broadband Grant Program to ensure that the deployment of grant funds increases the availability and access to broadband in the eligible counties.
Applicants will be required to provide a 1:1 match of nonpublic funds for any project receiving grant funds, and the funds may only be spent in eligible counties.
The ORS has developed a broadband availability map showing premises meeting 25/3 Mbps (download/upload) speeds. Projects will be prioritized based on areas with the most need.
The application period closes May 14, applications will be posted to the ORS website May 18 and funding agreements will be sent to successful applicants June 18. Projects are expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2022.
More information can be found at ORS.SC.GOV/broadband.