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Spartanburg unveils broadband connectivity program


Staff Report
gsanews@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 1, 2015

Business and education representatives in Spartanburg County are collaborating to increase access, adoption and use of broadband through its Connected Spartanburg project.

Connected Spartanburg is part of Connect South Carolina’s Connected Community Engagement Program that facilitates assessments of local broadband access, adoption and use. The program seeks to increase the number of high-tech companies and jobs, ensure that schools have sufficient access to broadband, and maximize technology options for health care, libraries, local government and residents.

“By bringing high-speed Internet to our community, we put our region ahead of the curve,” said Allen Smith, president and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “Technology puts Spartanburg on the road to success by fostering new jobs, new opportunities and increased economic development.”

Representatives from the chamber, all seven Spartanburg area school districts, and the city and county kicked off the Connected Spartanburg project today at the Chapman Cultural Center. Participating in the program will require an extensive assessment of overall broadband and technology innovation in Spartanburg County. Multiple teams will contact others as needed in the community to complete necessary surveys for the assessment.

“Technology opens the door to the future. From health care to education, agriculture to the retail terminals we have in our restaurants around the world, everything we do now, we can do better, faster, and more efficiently,” said John Miller, CEO of Denny’s Corp. “Making broadband technology a reality for the citizens of this community places a world of opportunities at their fingertips.”

Ron Garner, superintendent of Spartanburg County School District 1, said kids today understand that technology equals opportunity.

“Throughout Spartanburg there have been major educational investments, especially in the area of one-to-one device programs,” Garner said. “We’ve made major progress in the schools; however, many of our students travel home and have limited connectivity. This has a dramatic effect on classroom performance, and it is the reason all seven Spartanburg superintendents are directly involved in this mission-critical project.”

Plans are for the Connected Spartanburg project to conclude with a community presentation early next year.

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