South Carolina awards $72M as Capital Projects funding draws to a close

South Carolina has finalized its third and ultimate round of awards from the federal Capital Projects Fund (CPF).

As part of the round, the state awarded $112.3 million in December and $71.5 million across 16 projects this month. The round also included an award to Charter Communications of just over $1.5 million to “completely transform" the communities of Norway and Ridge Spring in January. 

Last March the state secured around $185 million from the fund, which is administered under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In total, the South Carolina Broadband Office (SCBBO) said that CPF money was awarded to 15 ISPs for 34 projects across 41 counties.

All CPF projects need to be completed by December 29, 2025. When finished, participating ISPs will have constructed over 4,200 additional miles of fiber access for "at least 33,662 housing units and 3,951 businesses,” noted a SCBBO release.

Larger ISPs that have won South Carolina CPF funding include AT&T, which received $10.8 million for 1,592 locations. Charter received $10.6 million for 2,044 locations and Comcast, $6.8 million for 2,765 locations. But Comporium took the cake, with the largest overall award of $51.9 million in December, to cover 6,610 locations. Per its website, Comporium serves both North and South Carolina in areas surrounding Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Lancaster, Lexington, Tega Cay, Indian Land, Charlotte and Brevard.

For the complete list of winners, the office has interactive map of all CPF grant awards available to the public.

With CPF investments complete, the SCBBO also announced its final grant program based upon the ARPA State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF).

The new program will see approximately $40 million doled out by the broadband office, and will be the “final tranche of ARPA broadband investments in the state.” Like South Carolina’s other grant programs, it will prioritize unserved census blocks with large numbers of primary education students, are in difficult development areas or are currently without any ISP.

Andrew Bateman of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff said the conclusion of the CPF awards, in addition to the newly announced ARPA program, represent the state’s “aggressive approach to making broadband resources work.”

On a different broadband front, South Carolina scored $551.5 million in Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding last year. Like all states, it had to submit an initial proposal to the NTIA detailing how it plans to run its grant program by the end of last year. Most proposals are currently under review, but the NTIA has a public dashboard, updated weekly, that shows how each state is progressing with its initial proposal.