A $12 million investment by Tri-County Electric Cooperative will bring broadband service parts of Lower Richland which have never had access to high-speed internet.
Tri-County will construct fiber optic cable throughout the largely rural community as part of its Richland County service expansion, according to a news release from the county.
“We are excited to see Tri-County investing in Richland County to provide more residents with access to broadband internet,” Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston said in the release. “The COVID-19 pandemic taught us the importance of having broadband connectivity, and this project will help our community stay better connected.”
On Dec. 7, Richland County Council approved a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement with Tri-County Electric that will provide a more favorable property tax rate over a 30-year period, according to the release.
“We're proud to make this investment in Richland County to provide broadband to previously underserved areas,” said Chad Lowder, CEO of Tri-County Electric. “This is a further commitment from Tri-County and its leadership team to provide essential services to citizens in our service territory."
Based in St. Matthews and founded in 1940, Tri-County Electric is a member-owned electric utility serving Calhoun, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland and Sumter counties. Its Richland County office is located at 11335 Garners Ferry Road in Eastover.