ANDERSON CO., (WSPA) – Crews were on Abercrombie Road in Anderson County Thursday installing underground fiber to provide internet access for families living in rural parts of the county.
According to WC Fiber, this effort is in collaboration with Anderson County Council, Blue Ridge Electric and West Carolina Telephone along with funding partially provided by the federal government.
“Some of this is being done that we have provided service without a grant and some of this is through the Office of Regulatory Staff. This is through American Rescue Plan Act money that was given to the state. The state legislators basically allocated so much money to the broadband office. Once completed in June, Upcountry Fiber will invest about $32 million and cover about 6,300 addresses,” said Stephen Taylor, with WC Fiber.
Not only does the lack of internet access affect rural families, but also Anderson School District Two students who take their Chromebooks home to do their homework.
“If you don’t have internet, then you can’t get that content at home, whether it’s videos or whether it’s reading articles or things like that, or even complete the homework. So what a lot of our families had to do, they had to go to the local McDonald’s,” said Superintendent Jason Johns.
Johns said the district would place Wi-Fi routers outside of the school.
“Especially during COVID and in the evening if you were to drive past our high school you’d see two dozen cars with students doing their homework,” Johns explained. “Getting internet into all of our homes would be such a benefit to our children to our families and it’s really a need.”
Taylor said the company is offering an affordability program to low income families to provide service as low as $50 a month with a $30 credit.
“Our legacy is to provide service to rural areas that are underserved or unserved,” said Taylor.
Construction for on the fiber is set to be completed by June 2024.