COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the need for broadband internet access across South Carolina.
About 180,000 South Carolinians currently do not have access to the internet where they live.
Lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would grow broadband in communities so that everyone has access to high speed internet.
“We gotta fix this and we need to fix this. It should’ve been already fixed. Kids in the rural areas of South Carolina should already have access to broadband, to the internet services. No matter where, what their zip code,” said SC Rep. Robert Williams of Darlington County.
The bill is currently in the State Senate and CARES Act funding could help pay for expanding access
Meanwhile, mobile hotspots are expected to be distributed across South Carolina soon.
The Office of Regulatory Staff would give them to counties with areas that have no internet service.
It would help income-qualified households get internet service and allow students to participate in virtual learning.
Officials say they are working to secure contracts for hot spots and services, they are also working to obtain quotes on how much that service would cost.