Home Internet 35K Tri-County homes set to lose broadband funding aid in May, group says

35K Tri-County homes set to lose broadband funding aid in May, group says

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – A monthly benefit to help eligible Tri-County households afford broadband internet service is expected to run out of funding in May.

The Lowcountry Digital Equity Coalition, a regional public-private partnership focused on digital inclusion in the Tri-County area, says the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a $30-per-month benefit for broadband users who qualify. Almost 35,000 households in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties are enrolled:

  • Charleston County: 15,391
  • Berkeley County: 9,233
  • Dorchester County: 10,059

Those counties are set to receive their final full monthly benefit this month, coalition Co-Manager Stacey Lindbergh said.

The coalition is holding an awareness day event on Tuesday to make the public aware about the ACP’s funding status. It also hopes to connect with those affected and advocate for future funding to make sure all Tri-County residents have internet access, Lindbergh said.

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Natalie Hauff, a member of the Lowcountry Digital Equity Coalition’s executive committee and deputy director of the Charleston County Public Library Deputy Director, says the coalition’s mission is to narrow the digital divide in Tri-County communities.

“By working together, we are one step closer to identifying how we can ensure our region is not only connected to high-speed internet but understanding how to leverage technology so it can enhance their quality of life,” Hauff said.

North Charleston Mayor Reggie Burgess is expected to hold a news conference Tuesday morning on the impact of the program and the expiration of funding. State and Tri-County leaders are also expected to take part in the event.



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