Partnership to bring to bring high-speed internet access to rural members
August 22, 2021
Palmetto Electric Cooperative partnering with Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative to bring high-speed internet access to rural members
RIDGELAND, S.C. - Palmetto Electric Cooperative has partnered with Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC), headquartered in Walterboro, S.C., to bring high-speed internet to its members living in rural Allendale, Hampton and Jasper counties through a broadband project called PalmettoLink.
“At Palmetto Electric, we believe that high-speed internet should no longer be considered a luxury, but an essential service, much like electricity,” said A. Berl Davis Jr., Palmetto Electric president and CEO. “Just as we brought electricity to rural members more than 80 years ago, we are now committed to bringing high-speed internet connections.”
PalmettoLink will be implemented over the next three years and will begin with the installation of fiber-optic cable on Palmetto Electric’s lines. This fiber-optic network will not only improve the reliability of the cooperative’s electric distribution system, but also deliver the high-speed connections that many members are lacking.
Palmetto Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit electrical distribution utility that is owned by the members it serves. The Cooperative serves over 75,000 members in southern Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.
“For more than a year, Palmetto Electric’s management and Board of Directors have been researching ways to improve the co-op’s internal communication system to provide a more reliable high-speed network connection between our offices, substations and grid-connected equipment in rural areas,” said Davis. “Throughout this process, it became clear that we could leverage this upgraded network to not only improve our internal operation, but also bring high-speed internet to our rural members.”
“We are very excited to partner with Palmetto Electric to bring fiber optic broadband to the rural residents of Allendale, Hampton and Jasper counties,” said Jason Dandridge of Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative. “The pandemic of 2020 certainly demonstrated the daily need for broadband in terms of educational standards and in business in a timely manner. We are proud to be partners with a sister cooperative in bringing this technology to the region.”
“On behalf of SouthernCarolina Alliance and the residents of our region, we would like to salute Palmetto Electric Cooperative and PRTC for investing in our communities and our future,” said SCA President and CEO Danny Black. “Thank you for leveraging your resources through partnership to do what is best for the people of our rural counties. High-speed internet is critical to growing our economy and providing critical technology to our residents, our small businesses, our schools and our industries. This is great news in economic development for our region.”
Providing adequate high-speed internet access is consistent with Palmetto Electric’s mission of supporting the communities it serves. This expanded internet access should not only improve many residents’ quality of life, but also provide opportunities in the form of education, jobs and economic development. More information about PalmettoLink can be found online at palmettolink.us.
About Palmetto Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Palmetto Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit electrical distribution utility that is owned by the members it serves. The Cooperative serves over 75,000 consumers in southern Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. Palmetto Electric’s mission is to provide diversified, innovative energy and related services to its members consistent with sound business practices, while always acting in a community-building leadership role. For more information, visit palmetto.coop or call 843-208-5551.
Palmetto Electric is also a member of Touchstone Energy, which is a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to customers large and small. More than 692 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in 46 states are delivering energy and energy solutions to approximately 40 million customers every day. Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve their members with integrity, accountability, innovation and a longstanding commitment to communities.
For more information, visit palmettolink.us or call 843-208-5551.