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Town hall to discuss expansion of high-speed internet access

Staff Report //September 28, 2020//

Town hall to discuss expansion of high-speed internet access

Staff Report //September 28, 2020//

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A virtual town hall on Saturday will discuss the rollout of high-speed internet access in Lower Richland.

As part of Richland County’s efforts to improve broadband, water, and sewer infrastructure in rural areas, TruVista Telecom is installing fiber-optic cable in parts of Lower Richland. The installation is expected to be complete by next spring.

The tele-town hall will address the areas the fiber-optic cable will reach and how potential new customers can obtain more information.  

The event will be held from 11 a.m. until noon. Residents will have a chance to ask questions. Those who do not receive a phone call to prompt participation can call 803-702-8926 at 11 a.m. and dial 0 to record a question or comment.

The water and sewer project will connect Hopkins Middle School, Hopkins Elementary School, Gadsden Elementary School and Franklin Park to public sewer service and eliminate the need for wastewater lagoons at those sites, according to a news release from Richland County. The project will also link public water and sewer services with residences, small businesses, government offices and churches in the area, as well as McEntire Joint National Guard Base.

The utilities expansion represents a $27.5 million infrastructure investment in southeast Richland, which includes the addition of 116 fire hydrants along a 33-mile stretch.

Construction on the first of the project’s two phases began April 15 and is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2021, with the second phase slated to start in 2024.

Carla French, president and COO of Camden-based TruVista, will join Saturday’s call to discuss the company’s internet access plan. Richland County utilities staff and County Administrator Leonardo Brown will also answer questions.

“Access to true high-speed internet over broadband lines will be a game changer for our children in their educational efforts, those working remotely and citizens seeking e-medical advice,” Richland County Councilwoman Dalhi Myers said. “With TruVista’s experience in telecommunications … we look forward to service options and reliability on par with urban areas.”