(Editor’s Note: At a special called meeting on Nov. 19, Marlboro County Council members were updated on the initiatives in their Strategic Plan. Over the next few weeks, we will review the progress made on each of these items. This week, the Herald-Advocate is focusing on Broadband and Citizen Communications initiatives.)
Marlboro County Council had several strategies in 2020 to improve broadband.
They were to lobby state regulatory agencies, internet providers, and others to address issues regarding access to high-speed internet in our community and seek grants or other funding to address specific infrastructure needs.
County Administrator Ron Munnerlyn said improving broadband was a win for the county. The goal was to have a plan and go after funding from the agency.
“We were the worst in the state with regards to broadband access,” he said. “And when COVID hit, all of a sudden it became a big problem.”
The county worked with Sandhill Telephone Cooperative to come up with a plan.
"We didn't have any money but we had a plan," he said.
Then they learned there would be Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding and were able to get some of the money.
Munnerlyn noted it made things a lot easier because they had done their homework. It allowed them to provide some of the areas that needed broadband.