AIKEN, S.C., February 2, 2021 – Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AEC) is pleased to announce its partnership with fiberoptic internet service provider CarolinaConnect, a Lexington, South Carolina-based company, to deliver affordable high-speed internet across its service territory.
Established in 2016, CarolinaConnect currently provides service to more than 13,000 electric cooperative members through its affiliation with Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative and Newberry Electric Cooperative. As a non-profit organization, CarolinaConnect’s focus is on delivering faster, more reliable, internet service at the most affordable rates possible.
The first phase of this effort to expand access to a modern fiber-to-the-home network will be funded by grant monies. Due to the requirements of the grant, service will first be available to members in the Tri-City area in Aiken County (rural areas around Wagener and Perry) as early as this summer, then Mason and Johnston Substations in Edgefield County (Fruit Hill Road, Good Hope Community and Highway 191 areas), and then our North Substation in Orangeburg County (North Road, Redmond Mill Road and Bull Swamp Road areas). When these areas are complete, service will then become available to the unserved and underserved areas of our service territory in which we serve:Aiken, Barnwell, Calhoun, Edgefield, Lexington, McCormick, Orangeburg and Saluda on a substation-by-substation basis over multiple years. A more detailed schedule of the projected network build-out is being developed.
“Just as we did more than 80 years ago in bringing electricity to our rural communities, today we are bringing a much-needed service to our members,” said Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric. “We believe providing exceptional broadband access is consistent with our mission of empowering our local communities and enhancing our members’ quality of life.” Access to high-speed broadband will enable members greater access to education, technology, conferencing, and many other opportunities given the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
For more information about AEC and CarolinaConnect’sinternet offerings, or to receive alerts when service will be available in your area, visit www.carolinaconnect.com and join the list.
Aiken Electric, a Touchstone Energy cooperative, is a not-for-profit, member-owned utility that strives to provide reliable, competitively priced energy and other services desired by its members. The co-op serves more than 49,000 customers in a nine county area.