More Pickens County residents will soon have access to broadband internet

A press conference was recently held announcing areas of Pickens County in parts of Liberty, Dacusville and Six Mile will soon have access to broadband internet through internet service provider Upcountry Fiber, a partnership between Blue Ridge Electric Co-op (BREC) and WCFIBER. A $12.18 million federal grant designated by the South Carolina Broadband Office (SCBBO) will allow Upcountry Fiber to continue to fulfill its mission to help bridge the “digital divide” where little to no access exists. Upcountry Fiber will invest an additional $5.57 million, resulting in a total cost of $17,752,301 for the project. Pickens County additionally invested $1.6 million from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the expansion of broadband into areas of need.

County Council Vice Chairman Roy Costner, who represents the Liberty district, said lack of internet access impacts citizens of all ages, including children whose academic success is supported by access to online resources or classes. "It's not just numbers. It's lives that are impacted," he said.

Nearly 1400 Pickens County underserved addresses identified by SCBBO that currently do not have access to broadband internet service are included in the grant. An additional 7,760 addresses surrounding them will be able to sign up for broadband internet service before the end of 2025 due to the investment that Upcountry Fiber is making towards the project. Residents will be notified of construction and order timelines in the coming weeks.

“Broadband access is critical to Pickens County’s growth. We are so thankful for the South Carolina Broadband Office grant that was awarded to Upcountry Fiber to help bring this required utility for today’s world to our community,” said Pickens County Council Chairman Chris Bowers.

"Pickens County is our home, and we are proud to continue to serve this traditionally underserved area with broadband internet,” said Jim Lovinggood, president and CEO of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. “The South Carolina Broadband Office grant helps us speed up the timeline to build a better, more competitive environment for people who live and work in the areas around Liberty.”

For more information about Upcountry Fiber, visit