Home Telecom to Match a New $6.2M ReConnect Grant; Over $12M Investment to Bring High Speed Internet
MONCKS CORNER June 27, 2023 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that Berkeley County is one of the beneficiaries of the Biden administration’s $65 billion Internet for All initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to connect all Americans to high-speed internet.
Local award-winning internet company Home Telecom will match a $6.2 million U.S.D.A. ReConnect grant, bringing the total project investment to $12.4 million.
The initial project will connect nearly 4,000 residents, 49 businesses, 46 farms and two educational facilities in rural Berkeley County to high-speed internet.
More than a dozen popular public places across the county will be advantaged by Home Telecom’s expanding fiber network including churches, community centers, police stations, fire stations and schools located along Santee River Road in St. Stephen, i.e., Timberland High School, Alvin Volunteer fire department, and Trinity Christian Academy are among them.
Other areas in Berkeley County that will benefit include parts of rural Bonneau, additional parts of the Francis Marion National Forest, and parts of Huger, S.C.
To date, Home Telecom has been able to leverage over $8 million in U.S.D.A. ReConnect grant funding, matched by their own $8 million financial investment, totaling more than $16 million. They have been able to put these funds towards infrastructure to expand internet services to hundreds of unserved residences, businesses, and critical facilities in rural communities across Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties over the past five years.
The additional $12.4 million will allow Home Telecom to reach even deeper into those rural areas.
“The ReConnect program has always been successful for Home Telecom because it helped us accelerate one of our stated missions – to close the digital divide between rural communities and urban and suburban communities when it comes to accessing broadband technology,” said Home Telecom President and CEO William Helmly. “It has helped us connect much of Awendaw, Honey Hill, McClellanville, Jamestown and Sandridge in the very near future.
“This additional funding will help us reach into more rural areas of Huger, Bonneau and St. Stephen, moving us closer and closer to accomplishing our mission.
“We are proud to be able to match these grants and essentially, double our initial reach.
“Being able to access reliable, high-speed internet in areas of the county that has been unserved or underserved until now will change lives.”
For media inquiries contact Caoimhe Zett at Home Telecom, firstname.lastname@example.org, 843-761-9859.