ESTILL, S.C. (WSAV) — A special day came for rural South Carolina. Through the Project Up initiative, broadband network access will be made available to over 2,000 homes and businesses.

Jason Gumbs, Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast said members in the Hampton community need access to the internet just like everyone else.

“Our focus is really about bridging the digital divide, providing digital equity, we’re able to do that today,” Gumbs said. “Providing online services allows community members to really look for jobs, access telemedicine.”

The $8.3 million expansion is helping to bring reliable and secure high-speed internet access to the area. With the help of this new partnership, every student at Estill High School received a free new laptop.

Congressman James Clyburn was one of the key members in bringing this access to the community, and he said how important it was for students to be able to do their homework from home, and not from a fast-food parking lot.

“I think if we learned anything during the battles with COVID-19 it is that one of the most critical things that we need to have in our communities, most especially in our schools is broadband,” Clyburn said. “And today, we are demonstrating that.”

Qualifying residents will also have access to the Government’s affordable connectivity program which will allow low-income households a credit of up to $30 a month to the internet and mobile services.