With $50 million in federal funding, S.C. officials have been moving quickly to provide students with internet service before classes resume and to expand high-speed service to unserved areas. So far, they’ve signed up 57,000 student households for free hot spot service through Dec. 31 at a cost of about $8 million.
That’s remarkable progress, considering that the state’s funding plan for the first three months of this year, which authorized the spending, was just signed into law June 25.
On Tuesday, Nanette Edwards of the Office of Regulatory Staff told a legislative panel she expected about 150,000 Wi-Fi hot spots to be distributed by mid-fall and to still have about $4 million left over from the $20 million budgeted for student access. That money might be needed for filling gaps that arise before the end of 2020, the federal deadline for spending the money.
The hot spot