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High-Speed Internet Spreads in Rural South Carolina

Fiber optic based Internet at speeds up to 1 Gbps will extend to Smyrna, Hickory Grove and western York County in rural South Carolina, with upgrades potentially taking as long as two or three years.

by John Marks, The Herald / January 12, 2021
Shutterstock/Nathan Smith01

(TNS) — Some parts of York County, S.C., that haven't had high speed internet are about to go online.

Fiber optic based internet at speeds up to 1 Gbps will extend to SmyrnaHickory Grove and western York County. Full upgrades could take two or three years, but some western York County residents could have new service by mid-2021.

The change comes through a partnership with Comporium and York Electric Cooperative. It impacts about 5,000 York Electric members in York and parts of Cherokee counties. Some details are still to be determined, per a joint release from Comporium and York Electric, after a year of discussion already on the project.

Other Comporium services like streaming video, voice, security and home automation will be available along with the improved internet access.

In the release, Comporium executive vice president and COO  Matthew Dosch  praised the partnership.

Comporium is delighted to work hand-in-hand with the staff at York Electric to extend state-of-the-art broadband service to residents of western York and parts of Cherokee County who have long been overlooked by the larger providers," Dosch said.

High speed internet has become increasingly useful in recent years as everything from shopping and banking to entertainment and communication have gone online. The COVID-19 pandemic that began last spring also sent school virtual, as grocery deliveries and more did the same as many people stayed home.

York Electric CEO  Paul Basha , in the release, said his group always wants to look out for its members.

"We are excited to partner with Comporium to bring broadband to many who have suffered from insufficient access for several years, holding true to our promise of improving the quality of life for those living in our communities," Basha said. "After recognizing the growing need for high speed Internet, especially during the pandemic, YEC's board of directors and management team responded with a plan to help."

York Electric is a nonprofit electric utility based in York with more than 63,000 customers in YorkLancasterChester and Cherokee counties. It's one of 20 electric cooperatives in South CarolinaComporium, based in Rock Hill, has more than 134,000 customers in a more than 4,000-square-mile service area.

(c)2021 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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