GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – WC Fiber leaders announced this week that the company is expanding a partnership with Greenwood County to bring broadband to more people.

“It’s a daily necessity now for our residents,” said James Bateman, the economic development director for Greenwood County.

Leaders said the COVID-19 pandemic shows the importance of access to internet, as many people started to learn, work, and even visit the doctor, all through their computer.

“It affects everything from education to working from the home, and also telemedicine is something we’re seeing a big spike in,” said Stephen Taylor, who does community relations and economic development for WC Fiber.

The expansion improves existing plans and will bring internet to an additional 2,400 addresses in the county.

“Working with the county, we were able to work out some areas that are really in need of broadband and we were able to identify those and try to serve this community as much as possible,” said Taylor.

Bateman said it’s possible thanks to a tax incentive program.

“What that did was allow WC Fiber to reinvest their savings and go beyond their initial plans,” said Bateman.

He said it’s a smart way to use the county’s money to grow this project and help more people.

“It’s a much greater investment, much greater tax collections than you would ever see “given away,” said Bateman.

Bateman said work is already underway on this project. He said this expansion is an additional $19 million investment in Greenwood County. He said it brings the company’s total investment in Greenwood to $42.6 million over the next five years.