The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for South Carolinians, and broadband service is a major example: When schools switched to remote learning, the lack of uniform access to broadband quickly emerged as a significant obstacle. The issue also created hardship for healthcare providers and many others. The South Carolina General Assembly pulled together key stakeholders, gathered input, and adopted a Broadband Accessibility Act intended to improve access across the state.
Santee Cooper does not want to be a retail broadband provider. Rather, Santee Cooper has been developing a broadband program in accordance with the act that will enable broadband providers to improve statewide accessibility more quickly and less expensively.
Do You Need Internet?
The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff is conducting a Broadband Internet Survey to gather information from South Carolinians on their desire for residential high-speed Internet plans from Internet Service Providers. This will help the ORS determine the demand and need for access to residential high-speed, fiber-based Internet in and around your community and across the State. Click here to take the survey.
Rates and Terms Approved
On April 26, 2021, the Santee Cooper Board of Directors approved rates and terms that could allow broadband providers to more quickly build out retail service to unserved areas of South Carolina by accessing Santee Cooper’s transmission infrastructure and 1,200 miles of excess fiber. These rates and terms are in line with the principles we established last year to govern our involvement and reflect regulatory and public input.
The program began on May 26, 2021. The following rates apply to transmission pole attachments and the leasing of excess dark fiber:
- Effective Sept. 1, 2022, the annual rate for transmission pole attachments will be $297.55 per pole.
- The rate for leasing excess fiber is $58.91 per fiber per mile per month.
Santee Cooper is now accepting applications for dark fiber leasing and pole attachments. To apply, please follow the appropriate process below. If you have any questions regarding these applications, please email broadband_SC@santeecooper.com.