Pilot project in Allendale, SC giving greater internet access to residents

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ALLENDALE, S.C. (WJBF) — An innovative pilot project aimed at bringing broadband access to underserved areas is making its way to the CSRA.

“It’s a part of bringing this community back.” Congressman Jim Clyburn told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.

The pandemic highlighted the need for the internet especially for students in rural parts of the palmetto state. Now, the Allendale broadband pilot project is providing a way for people living here to gain greater access.

“As you know we have struggled for years with broadband accessibly,” Superintendent, Allendale County School District Dr. Margaret Gilmore said.

Talks of getting internet in Allendale County were in the pipeline since November of last year. Friday a number of stakeholders including the Allendale School District and Congressman Jim Clyburn got together to talk about the new option. “This is all about young people who are thirsty to be educated,” Congressman Clyburn added.

The project uses assets already in the community like SCETV broadcast towers and other radio frequency technology.

Meanwhile, access is now granted to 25 businesses and it’s available to about one thousand homes. Congressman Clyburn says having this access goes beyond just connectivity, it taps into the humanity of that connectivity. “It’s a human right, I know it goes beyond what may or may not be civil. So when we started talking about broadband I think broadband has got to be treated as a human right.

The hope is to extend the project across all of Allendale County.

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